New to School Report?

How School Report can benefit your students

Welcome to School Report - the BBC's initiative which gives 11-16 year olds the chance to make the news for real!

If you are new to the project, this is our guide to getting the most out of School Report and ensuring that the project is a success in your school.


1. When you have joined our mailing list, you will start to receive emails from us helping you through the project. If you are interested in taking part in School Report 2015-16 please complete the form and we will contact you this term.

2. Complete your essential School Report paperwork. Even if you have taken part in the project before, these forms need to be completed every year your school is involved. Get at least Form 1 back to us as soon as you can!

This lets us know that you are taking part this year and entitles you to use School Report branding, to appear on the School Report map, to take part in monthly Practice News Days, and receive one-to-one advice from BBC members of staff, either by phone, email or sometimes in person.

3. Get planning! Familiarise yourself with the project. Take a look at our teacher resources page for links to lesson plans, video masterclasses and reporting guides. You can also learn more about how School Report can support the curriculum in a range of subjects.

4. Get your IT gurus on board and prepare a dedicated web page for your students' news on your school website. Send us the URL, and we will link to it from the School Report map when you have returned your paperwork. This is how the BBC broadcasts your students' work.

There are various ways in which to present the student reports online, and here are a few examples of different School Report web pages. You could opt for:

5. Practice News Days (PNDs) are held in the months running up to News Day on 10 March 2016.

Our first one happened in the middle of November but our others will take place on Wednesday 9 December, Thursday 21 January and Tuesday 9 February.

These are not compulsory, but are a chance for a dress rehearsal or to include extra students in the project. They are a great way to discover what works and what doesn't and to uncover technical bugs, before the big News Day. If you want an idea of what to do, have a look at our News Day lesson plan.


1. Start working towards News Day (10 March 2016)! Here are a few questions to have a think about.

  • Do you have a team of reporters? Have they been assigned roles? Have you booked a room for News Day? Have you arranged cover for lessons? Will you leave the school grounds, and if so have you done a risk assessment?
  • Will your students prepare any news reports or "features" in advance, or create all of your reports on the day? Will you film on a camera/record audio/write text/take photos? And have you booked the right equipment?
  • Think about guests - do your students want to interview anyone? If so, who? Are they available? Do you want to approach celebrities to take part? Are you twinned with a school abroad? Do you want to work with them?

Get all of your plans in place so that you are not stressed on the day!

2. Make sure you have obtained parental consent for every student creating or contributing to news reports, including any under-16s who may be interviewees. Once you have these consents on file, return Form 2 to us if you have not done so already. This allows us to link to your school website and consider your students for potential reporting opportunities where available.

3. School Report goodies are given out in February. Keep an eye out for your free School Report lanyards, press cards and pens and don't forget to download posters and microphone cubes to make sure everyone at school knows that your students are official BBC News School Reporters. If you haven't returned your forms you won't receive any freebies... so be warned!

4. Generate some publicity. Tell your Head and the other staff at your school, your local newspaper and of course us at BBC News School Report what you are planning. Make your students' voices as loud as you can (metaphorically speaking!). School Report has also produced a guide to promoting your stories to an even wider audience.

5. News Day - 10 March 2016

Join hundreds of other schools across the UK making the news for real! Make your classroom feel like a newsroom - don't forget to give countdowns, monitor for breaking news, hold editorial meetings to discuss your running order and make your news by 14:00 GMT. Upload your reports to your school's School Report web page by 16:00 GMT.

Do tune in to the BBC, where we'll be sending our audience to your websites, keeping in touch with you all day, broadcasting some of your reports on TV, on radio and online, and publishing your "shout-outs" to your School Reporters on our website. It will be an exhilarating, exhausting and rewarding day!

6. After News Day

Let us know how it all went and make sure you give each of your School Reporters their special School Report certificates! You can keep reporting through the summer term- do let us know if you are doing this.