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BBC Children’s, Learning combined

UK pubcaster BBC is combining its departments focusing on children and learning to create a new unit that will be led by BBC Children’s director Alice Webb.

Alice Webb

BBC Children’s & Education has been established by James Purnell, BBC director of radio and education, and comes as Sinead Rocks, director of education, leaves BBC Learning to become Channel 4’s MD for the nations and regions.

Purnell said in an email to BBC Learning staff this week that Rocks’ departure had provided an opportunity to rethink the department’s organisation.

Helen Foulkes, creative director of BBC Learning, will now manage learning-related activities on a day-to-day basis. She will report to Webb, whose job title is now director of BBC Children’s & Education.

“BBC Children’s and BBC Learning underpin the BBC’s offer for children and young audiences. Both have public service at their heart and are fundamental to the BBC’s relationship with children, teachers and parents,” Purnell said in the staff memo.

“Bringing your departments together will open up new possibilities for collaboration – I know you’ll benefit from each other’s strengths, so we can serve our audience even better.”

Webb added: “Education is fundamental to the BBC’s mission – it runs through everything we do. Creating BBC Children’s & Education means more firepower for children, young people and teachers all in one place, as well as underpinning lifelong learning for all audiences.

“It’s a good thing for our audience and partners. I’m really looking forward to taking on this new role and continuing to support the educational DNA of the BBC.”

Yesterday C21 broke the news that Sarah Muller was returning to the pubcaster’s children’s department in a top role after almost two-and-a-half years away.


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