BBC told to drop learning website

This blog rarely if ever features political controversies of the day, as there is plenty of discussion to be found about them elsewhere. However, I was incensed to read this story in yesterday’s Times:

"The BBC was made yesterday by its new regulator to suspend its £150 million free online education service, BBC Jam, after warnings from Europe that it was damaging the commercial sector.

The decision by the BBC Trust left at least 170,000 children aged 5 to 16 without the corporation’s schoolwork help and is a blow to the Government, which had demanded that the BBC develop a free service despite industry objections."

Bitesize is the internet revision service strongly preferred by Cathy, who sits her GCSE exams this summer. Jenny also uses the Key Stage 3 service a lot. What is going on? This is madness.

From WikipediaBBC Knowledge was an early BBC digital television channel……The channel’s original schedule style was initially a ‘bright and breezy’ approach to education, aimed at both adults and children. After poor ratings, the format was replaced by a new schedule where content was arranged into ‘zones’ depending on topics. The new zones made BBC Knowledge more of a serious documentary channel. Programming included a GCSE survival guide based upon the popular BBC series "Bitesize", this was named "Bitesize Etc".