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BBC unveils ‘biggest ever’ educational push

UK pubcaster the BBC is launching a daily educational programme called BBC Bitesize Daily to ensure children follow their school curriculum from home during the coronavirus pandemic.

Tony Hall

The 14-week series will deliver curriculum-relevant content to children of varying ages and guide parents and children through their learning day.

The show is set to launch on April 20 and is aimed at minimising disruption to children’s education and providing rhythm and routine during lockdown.

BBC Bitesize Daily, featuring professional teachers, will be filmed at BBC’s Match of the Day studio in Salford and will receive support from organisations such as The Royal Shakespeare Company, the English Premier League and Puffin Books.

The show will be accessible via the BBC iPlayer, the interactive Red Button service, online audio platform BBC Sounds and the existing Bitesize website and app, as well as airing on BBC4.

The BBC is working on the project with education providers such as Twinkl and White Rose Maths, the Department of Education in England, the Welsh Government, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive.

The daily programme will provide nation-specific, curriculum-led activities and programming to complement the remote learning being offered by schools and to keep up every child’s educational momentum.

Additionally, the Bitesize online offering will also receive a boost, with additional content such as videos, quizzes, podcasts and articles made available to bolster home schooling.

Tony Hall, director general of the BBC, claimed the move is the biggest education initiative in the corporation’s history.

“In these uncertain times, parents look to the BBC to support them and offer education while children can’t be in school,” he said. “This is the biggest education effort the BBC has ever undertaken. This comprehensive package is something only the BBC would be able to provide.

“We are proud to be there when the nation needs us, working with teachers, schools and parents to ensure children have access and support to keep their learning going – come what may.

“We have been overwhelmed by the offers of help and support in putting this provision together and are looking forward to ensuring every child can continue to learn, and have fun, through our high-quality teaching and accessible education offer.”

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden commented: “This is public service broadcasting at its best and will make a big difference to millions of children across the UK while schools are closed.”

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