Future of the BBC – Children’s Radio


Culture, Media and Sport – Fourth Report: Future of the BBC – Published 26 February 2015

Written evidence submitted by the Sound Start Group and published in this report [P.162]

After decades of failure to attract young listeners to sporadic content hidden away in adult speech schedules the BBC mistakenly surmised that UK children may no longer be able to listen without visual stimulation and, in February 2011, the BBC’s Strategy for Children’s Audio wrote off its core remit to provide non-commercial radio for them. The same Strategy axed all BBC radio for children aged under seven and replaced it with 12 minute daily downloads that require parental supervision and are unavailable in homes without internet access.

Last month, following three years of procrastination and copyright problems, the mitigating plan to release BBC Children’s Radio Archive to interested 3rd party broadcasters was scrapped. Years of licence-funded Children’s and Schools content now languish redundant and unavailable to those professionals who, unlike the BBC, believe that children as well as adults can greatly enjoy and benefit from well produced public service radio made for them. 

Government must not influence broadcasters but makes our broadcasting law. During its consultation about the future of the BBC in the run up to Charter renewal we ask the Committee to take note of the widespread concern about this damaging cultural neglect of children, which breaches the current Charter requirement that licence fees be invested to benefit all communities across all available platforms of delivery.


February 2014


Sound Start [FBB00118] P.162


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