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BBC announces £6m investment for Bitesize platform

Salford HQ’d BBC Children’s and Education has announced a £6m investment into its online education platform, BBC Bitesize.

BBC Bitesize will, the corporation said, become “the most personalised, trusted and free to access learning platform for the next generation, as the BBC celebrates 100 years of its education content.”

To celebrate 100 years of BBC Education, BBC Teach will broadcast a special Live Lesson on CBBC and BBC iPlayer today, 22 April. This interactive commemorative lesson will be broadcast to children in schools nationwide. Pupils will be challenged to produce their own radio report for CBBC’s beloved Hacker T Dog’s radio show, developing valuable skills such as interviewing techniques, scriptwriting, and presentation.

BBC Education has been at the forefront of educational innovation since its inception in 1924, inspiring generations of learners through ground-breaking programming. Deemed revolutionary at the time, Bitesize was launched in 1998. It has gone on to become the most popular online educational website for school children in the UK, with 47% of all students using the platform last year to help with their exams.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, BBC Education also launched Bitesize Daily and produced over 200 hours of original programming with more than 2,000 lessons created for children not able to go to school.

Patricia Hidalgo, BBC director of Children’s and Education: “Our Reithian values to ‘inform, educate and entertain’ are the driving force behind the content we provide young people and their families. To ‘educate’ is at the heart of the BBC’s purpose for the last 100 years and we are so proud of the innovation we have pioneered as we have helped the nation to learn.

We’re continuing this rich heritage as we evolve BBC Bitesize for the next generation of young learners investing in technology to deliver personalised content supported by the educational rigour and trust we have earned over this centenary.”

The investment is “a cornerstone of BBC Children’s and Education’s mission to revolutionise its education service in the digital age, piloting a service up to 19 years old.” It also comes against a backdrop of cuts as the BBC seeks to find around £700m savings against a backdrop of soaring costs and frozen licence fees. It will enhance content discovery, recommendation systems, and self-curation features, making content “more personalised, relevant and easier to find and making learning, completing homework and exam revision simpler and more effective.”

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