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Complainant Name:
Mr Mark Woodburn

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Mail on Sunday


Mr Mark Woodburn, the Headmaster of Ghyllside Primary Training School, complained that the newspaper had inaccurately claimed that he had devised a game of spies as a pretext for obtaining fingerprints from pupils as young as three-years-old. It also wrongly suggested that he had told them they should not inform their parents. The children were not photographed or individual fingerprints taken.


The complaint was resolved when the newspaper, which immediately accepted that it had made a mistake, apologised to the complainant, removed the article from its website, wrote to the schools Chair of Governors, and published the following apology:

On March 11 we said Mark Woodburn, head teacher of Ghyllside Primary School, Kendal, had pupils as young as three provide fingerprint samples on the pretext of a game and told them there was no need to inform their parents. We now accept the allegation was unfounded. Older children at the school use fingerprint technology as an alternative to carrying library cards. Mr Woodburn has written to all parents explaining the system, which does not store the prints. We apologise to Mr Woodburn for our mistake.

Report: 75

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