Syndication should not replace BBC children’s radio.

After painful decades of complaints, re-scheduling, re-branding and reduction, The BBC still condemns children’s radio as problematic and un-wanted. Now the few remaining hours may be axed from R7 in a re-launch as R4 Xtra and syndication of children’s content is again on the cards.

This may seem a way out of the BBC’s in-house obligations to young listeners as well as a handy nod to the Trust’s call for partnership but it raises serious questions.

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Stammering Information Programme

The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children is running a Stammering Information Programme whose aim is to raise awareness within the education system in England of the impact of stammering on the lives of young people. This 2-year project is Government funded and will be completed in December 2010. The Michael Palin Centre’s team of expert therapists has produced a short DVD entitled “Wait, wait, I’m not finished yet….”, together with comprehensive advice leaflets.


Response to the BBC Trust Consultation on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 7.

The background: BBC Executives have long argued that children don’t use radio but only want TV and pop music – an opinion largely based on their personal experience as parents of teenage children. As a consequence all young listeners were given low PSB priority and their radio programmes were reduced and finally withdrawn.

Young people enjoy a wide range of interests, activities and aspirations beyond pop and celebrity and it is the BBC’s duty to respect and nurture them with wide ranging, age-appropriate services across all platforms.

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Campaigners want programmes for children on BBC Radio 3, Radio 4 and Radio 7.

The Sound Start Group has responded to a BBC Trust Consultation on Radio 3, 4 and 7, with proposals to schedule content for children aged 11 to 14 years on all three networks.

The Consultation, which closes today [26/08/10], is the latest in the Trust’s Review on the future of BBC services.

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The Sound Start Plan

An exciting opportunity to create a world first and achieve lasting gains in the lives of our youngest citizens …

Two BBC digital radio formats are proposed for closure [6 Music and the Asian Network] at an annual saving of £21m plus.

The BBC Trust has criticised BBC children’s radio provision and called for ‘practical partnerships’ to help reduce a deficit of up to £235 million.

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Response to the BBC Trust’s Review from the Sound Start Group

Dear Sir Michael,

Public Service Children’s Radio

We thank you and the Trustees for the opportunity to respond to this further consultation on future BBC services. We do so with an updated version of the Sound Start partnership proposal that was put forward in 2008 and 2009, and which would now capitalise on the proposed closure of either the Asian Network or 6 Music in 2011.

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The BBC discriminates…against young listeners

In 2001 Auntie passed up the chance of a DAB network for children in favour of limited output on adult speech stations R4 and R7 where research indicated kids wouldn’t listen.

The last children’s half hour on R4 was axed in June and their slots on R7 are about to be moved around yet again.

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Children’s radio: a vital medium

Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists Bulletin, July 2009)

Broadcaster and campaigner Susan Stranks says a new public service radio network for young listeners is necessary to support a Sound Start in life for children

Sir Jim Rose’s Primary Curriculum Review exposes ‘word poverty’ and limited language development in UK children and last year’s Bercow Report on speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) tells a similar story.

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Let’s Make Radio

The “Let’s Make Radio” workshop was introduced in 2002 and gives children the valuable opportunity to create their own radio programmes.  Its purpose is to encourage children to use their imagination and gently promote their ability to listen attentively and perform with confidence whilst they can also learn some of the essential techniques associated with radio production.  The most recent event took place at Brighton’s Jubilee Library and invited children aged five to ten years to produce a special Halloween play ‘Sam and the Giant Pumpkin’, and to read their favourite stories and poems. Read more

Poll Puts BBC Digital Radio Plans In Question

Published:20 February 2001
Fieldwork:8 – 14 Feb 2001
Theme:Media / TV / Newspapers
Source:Children 2000

Keywords:BBC, Radio
(Click on keywords to find related Research)

The results of a nationwide survey will place a question mark over the BBC’s new digital radio proposals.

A MORI poll, commissioned by think tank, CHILDREN 2000, has shown a radio network for children to be a far more popular option than any of the BBC’s proposed formats for its five new national radio networks.

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