The Millennium ExperienceChronicle of the Future

Playground pill-poppers

22.06.02: UP TO 10% of children in some British secondary schools are on prescription drugs to control their behaviour. And that percentage is rising fast, according to an independent report published yesterday.

"We are in danger of creating a new medicalised underclass," the report, by the Omega Foundation, concludes. "New forms of brain scans are selecting a proportion of children as 'no-hopers'. They are then treated with drugs and teachers often give up on them."

The foundation identifies two reasons for the increased use of drugs and testing in schools. The first was the pressure of exam league tables, which led to many unruly children being excluded from schools.

"When exclusion proved unacceptable," says one of the authors, Professor Jack Thompson of Sheffield University, "they were kept in school but drugged to make them behave."

Second, the involvement of large firms in the funding of education has meant that managers want to know which children will represe