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Complainant Name:
Geraldine Norman

Clauses Noted: 1, 6

Publication: The Times


Geraldine Norman, Deputy Head Teacher of Matthew Moss High School, complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had published an inaccurate report which stated that pupils at the school had interviewed a British National Party leader in their classroom when this was not the case. The complainant was also concerned that a photographer acting on behalf of the newspaper had arrived on school property and had taken photographs of the children and school buildings without obtaining permission.


The newspaper explained that it had sent an agency photographer to obtain photographs of the school but had decided against using any of the images as they showed identifiable children. The photographs were removed from the newspapers archive and photo library and the newspaper had contacted the agency responsible to inform it that the photographer responsible had not obtained the required authorisation. The newspaper apologised to the complainant for giving her cause for concern in this regard and the apology was accepted.

The complaint was fully resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following clarification both online and in print:

We reported ("Far-right leader interviewed by pupils in their classroom", March 1) that students at Matthew Moss High School, Rochdale, had invited the BNP's Simon Darby to discuss Islamic dress with them as part of a project on news reporting. We have been asked to make clear that the "interview" consisted of a single question put to Mr Darby by one pupil over the telephone, and that the BNP deputy leader was not invited to speak in person to a class of children. We are happy to set the record straight.

Date Published: 26/04/2010

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