Feeds

BBC culls Jam staff

Suspended education portal expels 200

Boost IT visibility and business value

The BBC will cut all staff posts at its suspended online education portal, BBC Jam. Around 200 job slots will disappear.

The free-at-point-of-use service, which had an annual budget of £150m, was suspended in March after unidentified private education providers complained to the EU that the Beeb was damaging their market.

At the time, acting BBC chairman Chitra Bharucha said there would be "fresh proposals for how the BBC meets its public purpose of promoting formal education in the context of school age children".

Meanwhile, layoffs resulting from the Jam decision have seemingly been minimised.

Controller of learning Liz Cleaver said: "I recognise that the past few weeks have been stressful for everyone involved. We have tried as hard as possible to minimise the number of post closures when making changes to staff numbers and, in particular, to avoid compulsory redundancy by seeking volunteers or redeploying staff."

The Beeb reckons the net loss of jobs will actually be just 31, with many personnel redeployed and others leaving of their own volition. Discussions with staff and unions continue.

The corporation is still required by its charter to promote education and learning, and licence-fee payers aren't being offered their £150m back.

It now appears that whatever the fresh proposals may be, they won't involve the original Jam structure. However, according to BBC News, a new learning plan "will be submitted to the [BBC] Trust in the next few months".

Parents and perhaps teachers may be hoping the Beeb can manage to get back online. At the moment the position could appear to users as though fee-paying schools had managed to have state education shut down - without any corresponding reduction in the tax burden.

On the other side, a lot of companies offer paid online education services and would argue that it's totally unfair for the Beeb to wade into their market with free offerings. Others in the sector would have hoped for work as Jam contractors - a big chunk of Jam budget was earmarked for sourcing from industry. Outfits like Tutorvista and Research Machines will be watching the Beeb's progress closely. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.