BBC outlines plan for children’s TV in the coming year


The BBC’s annual plan for 2022/23 has been published, including its ongoing commitment to children’s programming in the year ahead.

The Corporation’s ‘strategic and creative plans’ include:

  • creating more British animation, with the commission of three broadcast-quality pilots in the Ignite initiative, as well as acquiring more existing animated content in the meantime.
  • new children’s drama Phoenix Rise, set in a fictional West Midlands secondary school.
  • development of child- and youth-friendly versions of iPlayer, reflecting the high use of on-demand services among younger audiences. This includes curating content for the 10-12 age group and managing how they transition into older content, plus a number of dramas aimed at the 7-12 age group being released in full after the initial episode is broadcast on CBBC.
  • BBC Children’s In House Production department to move to BBC Studios from 1st April ’22.

New and Returning Programmes

A number of new launches and returning favourites include:

  • Horrible Histories special to celebrate 100 years of the BBC.
  • Operation Ouch dedicating a programme to breaking taboos around understanding cancer.
  • return of dramas including Jamie Johnson, Malory Towers, The Dumping Ground and Princess Mirror Belle.
  • new drama A Kind of Spark based on the award-winning book by neurodiverse author Ellie McNicoll.
  • CBeebies to see Olga da Polga, based on the books by Paddington author Michael Bond.
  • CBeebies reality/scripted programme mix Dog Squad, following the lives of different working dogs in the fictional town of Woofton.
  • CBeebies return of Something Special and JoJo & Gran Gran.
  • Natural history programming including Deadly Predators and Andy’s Global Adventures, One Zoo Three and Ranger Hamza’s Eco Heroes.
  • Our School to focus on a boarding school.
  • Sporting programmes including Gym Stars and Football Academy.
  • Newsround to continue to provide daily news online and via 35 hours or more of TV bulletins annually, as well as looking to make its TV bulletins more accessible and devising enhanced plans for coverage of the Platinum Jubilee.

Learning

Broadcasters have seen a surge in production and consumption of educational content in the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic which significantly disrupted in-school teaching and learning. Although the BBC acknowledges it is difficult to predict how trends will continue as things return to a more normal pattern, they are still invested in producing and delivering high quality educational content as relevant to young audiences.



Bitesize

  • BBC’s commitment to its Bitesize service will see the delivery of the remainder of its 40% increase in content, focusing on a new reception age service, completion of Key Stage 3 collections, and developing new arts and computing collections for primary.
  • It will expand its careers coverage with up to 200 new job profiles and content on the future of work.
  • This year will see the complete delivery of Bitesize – the Regenerators, a green and sustainable education campaign.
  • Embark on a new partnership with Netmums focusing on child and parent wellbeing.
  • Bitesize Learning Zone to continue during term-time mornings on CBBC and then available on iPlayer.

BBC Teach

  • Continue to provide specialist educational content to support teaching children and teenagers including focusing on series on the history of music, modern foreign languages, GCSE biology and German.
  • New curriculum linked Live Lessons and commission these externally.
  • New teacher support content focused on looked-after children.

CBBC

  • Broadcast at least 675 hours of factual content on CBBC to help children explore new subjects and participate in new activities.

CBeebies

  • CBeebies will take some of its most popular titles into new learning territories this year, to keep expanding the audience’s horizons.

Radio 3

  • Radio 3 and the BBC Performing Groups will support the learning and musical education of young people across the UK

BBC Alba

  • BBC ALBA will broadcast at least 10 hours of programmes per week for Gaelic language learners.
  • Will deliver two new series through the multiplatform learning brand, SpeakGaelic which will aim to offer interactive resources and inspiration for Gaelic learners.

Radio Cymru

  • Will work with partners to offer content for potential and current Welsh language speakers, including through Wythnos Dathlu Dysgu Cymraeg (Welsh Language Learning Week), and through the launch of a new weekly strand to help Welsh learners.

The full plan can be downloaded from the BBC website.