And so the regulatory merry-go-round begins again. After its overseeing Trust forced it to close its BBC Jam education site on competition grounds 11 months ago, Auntie has submitted new plans for its online education provision. The new idea is not, as The Guardian calls it, a “replacement” for Jam because, as the BBC and its Trust acknowledge today, “even a modified version of BBC Jam based around delivery of the curriculum is not deliverable given the regulatory constraints and ongoing commercial concerns”. In other words, leave the backbone of your kids’ learning to the commercial sector.
Instead, the broadcaster proposes “enhancing its existing portfolio with some new online educational initiatives which are skills-based“. Plans, which are not yet complete but could lean toward minority-language provision because private publishers don’t dare tread there, will have to succumb to the Trust’s inevitable public value test. More interestingly, the BBC is also reviewing the financial cost of the Trust’s order to shut Jam, which came with 200 job losses plus redundancies at private contractors.