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British educational software publishers are banding together to fight BBC's plans to "monopolise" digital broadcasting in schools.

They accuse the BBC of aiming to "dominate classrooms across the country by owning the process for creating and delivering the digital learning environment for children from 5 to 16 years old". If implemented, the BBC's Digital Curriculum will kill the UK educational software industry, they say.

They are co-ordinating opposition through a new lobby group, Choice for Schools. Backers include RM, the UK's biggest educational IT supplier, The Publishers Association, and Bthe ritish Education Suppliers Association (BESA).

Lewis Bronze, CEO of Espresso Education, Chairman of Choice for Schools and onetime editor of 'Blue Peter', the iconic BBC children's programme, said:

"The opportunity provided by broadband technology should allow a torrent of educational content to flow - instead, the BBC's current proposals will give us a desert. The BBC's current proposals for their free to air digital curriculum will massively curtail the choice available for schools. Using £170 million of the public's licence fees destroys a competitive market, deprives children and teachers of choice
and diversity, and kills off the UK educational software industry."

Choice for Schools wants to educate the government of the "true implications of the BBC becoming the effective gatekeeper of digital learning resources". In other words it wants the BBC stopped. ®

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