BBC to expand educational shows in response to UK Covid lockdown | Media

A significant expansion of BBC educational programming for children is to be launched in response to the latest UK lockdowns and school closures that are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Amid concerns that large numbers of children without access to remote learning are losing out, the BBC said that the biggest education offer in its history was designed to ensure that all children can access curriculum-based learning without the internet.

Broadcasting from Monday each weekday on CBBC – which is aimed at children aged between 7 and 16 – it will include a three-hour block of primary school programming from 9am.

Programming will include BBC Live Lessons and BBC Bitesize Daily, as well as Our School and Celebrity Supply Teacher and older programming such as Horrible Histories, Art Ninja and Operation Ouch.

The broadcaster said BBC Two would cater for secondary school students with programming to support the GCSE curriculum, with a least two hours of content each weekday.

Content will be built around secondary school shows produced for Bitesize Daily, the BBC’s summer term service, it added, and will be complemented by Shakespeare, classic drama adaptations as well as science, history and other items.

Tim Davie, the BBC director general, said: “Ensuring children across the UK have the opportunity to continue to follow the appropriate core parts of their nation’s school curriculum has been a key priority for the BBC throughout this past year.

“Education is absolutely vital – the BBC is here to play its part and I’m delighted that we have been able to bring this to audiences so swiftly.”

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Oliver Dowden, the culture secretary, said in a statement released by the broadcaster that the new programming would be “a lifeline to parents”.

He said: “The BBC has helped the nation through some of the toughest moments of the last century, and for the next few weeks it will help our children learn whilst we stay home, protect the NHS and save lives.”

The education secretary, Gavin Williamson, tweeted: “Thank you @BBC for supporting continued education for pupils at home, alongside the strengthened remote education offer from schools + access to 10,000 @oaknational online lessons.”


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