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Those who dared...

Other pupils have made ambitious attempts like those at Farnborough sixth form college to push back the boundaries of knowledge. They include:

* Farris Harran, a 16-year-old from Florida, wandered the streets of Baghdad last Christmas in pursuit of a journalism assignment.

Asked to write about an international issue from the point of view of the people living through it, he flew into Iraq and later reported to the office of the Associated Press. The US embassy was alerted and Farris was returned home by the army. Despite coming from an Iraqi family, he spoke no Arabic.

* Earlier this year, enterprising teenagers in Oxfordshire imported torture equipment, including wall cuffs, to show how easy it is to avoid British arms controls.

The children, from Lord Williams's School in Thame, also arranged for the sale of Pakistani grenade launchers to Syria and South African rifles to Israel. They got quotes before pulling out of the deals.

It was all part of a Channel 4 Dispatches documentary by campaigning comedian Mark Thomas, broadcast in April this year.

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