BBC offers biggest online education push ‘in its history’

6th  April 2020

The BBC will offer daily programmes to help parents and children with schoolwork at home during the lockdown.

Starting on 20 April, videos, quizzes, podcasts and articles will appear on BBC Bitesize Daily via the BBC iPlayer, red button, BBC Four and BBC Sounds.

Children’s lessons will feature presenters including Oti Mabuse, Katie Thistleton and Karim Zeroual.

BBC director general Tony Hall called it “the biggest education effort the BBC has ever undertaken.”

The corporation said every child in the UK would “have their education supported” and it has teamed up with organisations such as the Royal Shakespeare Company, Premier League and Puffin Books to keep the lessons fresh.

The initiative will include 14 weeks of core subject learning to offer “rhythm and routine” for pupils “whatever your child’s age”.

‘Life’s been turned on its head’

CBBC presenter Karim Zeroual told BBC Breakfast: “Lots of people will be enjoying being home with their children, but… parents are trying to build different roles – the mum and dad and the teacher – and that’s really tough.

“I know my sister is struggling with that, I’ve got three nephews and I know for a fact the BBC’s going to help my close friends and family, trying to give people a helping hand.”

He said the BBC was offering six 20-minute programmes on air daily on BBC iPlayer and red button, and would cover core subjects including Maths, English and science, with guidance from experts and teachers.

“Life’s been turned on its head this will hopefully show people that support is there, with lessons for the whole day if you choose to use them,” he said.

The presenter added that the curriculum would be for years one to 10, and that for Year 10s there would be an Instagram live with a teacher and experts exploring questions asked by pupils.

“The answers they’ll get and the immediate effect from the teacher will be great,” he said.

Lord Hall said the “comprehensive package is something only the BBC would be able to provide” adding: “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”.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson highlighted the experience of many families, saying: “As a parent, I know encouraging children to learn at home is no easy task and I am delighted that the BBC has worked with experts and exceptional teachers to create this educational package.”

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden added that this was “public service broadcasting at its best”, and it will “make a big difference to millions of children across the UK while schools are closed”.

“I’m delighted the BBC is working closely with the government to help make sure our children are educated, informed and entertained during these challenging times.”

The content will be divided into age groups and BBC Bitesize online will publish a new Maths and English lesson for every child every day with more subjects to follow.

The lessons will be nation specific, and the BBC has “worked closely” with teachers plus “trusted education providers such as Twinkl and White Rose Maths, the Department of Education in England, the Welsh Government, Scottish Government and Northern Ireland Executive”.