Unlike their national tabloid counterparts, the editors of the school newspapers wanted to provoke serious debate, not titillate.
A semi-naked Geri Halliwell appeared in the newspaper produced by Class Six at Kingscourt primary school in Catherington, Hampshire, alongside a protest editorial from the girls in the class. "We think women are not here for men to drool over," it said. "We think this picture is tacky. Please don't judge us by the cover."
Their teacher, Nick Neve, said: "It started when 11-year-old Clare Neanon said she thought the picture with a story about Geri Haliwell speeding was completely inappropriate. That turned into a debate about what sold newspapers. In the end they used the picture, but with a sort of editorial going with the story." Kingscourt won best primary newspaper. (See www.kingscourt.org.ukkcstime) Likewise, Manchester grammar school's The Avian, winning a Newsday award as best secondary newspaper for the third time, featured a revealing shot of Britney Spears. "The article was a discussion of social Darwinism and began by asking why Britney Spears maintains that she is a virgin," said the school's head of design and technology, Ric Foot.
The other winning entry this year, for best website, went to Deer Park School in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. More than 1,000 schools entered this year's Newsday competition, which has run since 1991. It gives pupils just one day to produce a complete school newspaper or website.
All winners this year received an RMP computer for their school. The awards were presented by ITNnewsreader Dermot Murnaghan at a ceremony in the House of Commons last Friday.