Trust seeks families' thoughts on CBeebies and CBBC

Date: 04.03.2013     Last updated: 23.09.2014 at 09.48

The BBC Trust has today announced a new review of Children's Services including CBBC and CBeebies.

The review will examine the two dedicated BBC children's services across TV and online to see how well they are serving their young audiences and ensure they are meeting their service licence requirements.

It will also assess the BBC Executive's progress on radio for children, including children's programming on Radio 4 Extra.

As part of this, a public consultation has been launched today on the Trust website. The Trust is particularly keen to hear from young viewers, so a dedicated questionnaire has been prepared to enable children to give their feedback. An adult survey will also welcome comments from parents and carers, those who work with children, or anyone with a view on the services.

BBC Trustee Alison Hastings, who is leading the review, said:

"The Trust is committed to ensuring the BBC continues to provide children with high-quality, home-grown programming, which is educational, entertaining and offers an opportunity to bring families together.

"Since our last review in 2009 there have been many developments to the services the BBC provides. For example, we recently saw children's TV programming move to its dedicated digital home, in line with changing viewing habits.

"We'll be taking stock to see how well the services are meeting their licence requirements and the expectations of the children and families who watch and listen."

For CBeebies, CBBC and Radio 4 Extra, the Trust will review the extent they are being used, assess whether they are providing high quality content, are good value for money, and contributing to the BBC's public purposes. The Trust will also consider how other relevant BBC services (TV, radio and online) plan to serve children under the age of 16, to ensure they are catered for.

The review will look at developments in the children's media sector including changes to their listening and viewing habits, and will check that the BBC is well-placed to meet the challenges that may result from these changes.

If any areas for improvement are identified, the Trust will make recommendations and will also make any necessary amendments to the service licence to ensure it reflects the future scope of Children's Services.As well as running a public consultation and commissioning specialist audience research, the Trust will also engage directly with key stakeholders to ensure views from across the wider industry are taken into account.

The full terms of reference for the service review have been published today and are available here

The public consultation on BBC Children's Services will be open until 31 May. Further guidance for organisations who wish to respond can be found here (PDF file).


Notes to editors:

  1. Under the terms of the BBC's Charter and Agreement, the Trust is responsible for issuing service licences for the BBC's UK public services. These service licences include the remit of the service, the key requirements necessary to meet the remit and ensure the BBC's public purposes are delivered, and headline budget. The Trust must carry out a full review of each BBC service which has a service licence at least once every five years and consult publicly.
  2. Under the Royal Charter the BBC has six public purposes. These are: Citizenship – sustain citizenship and civil society; Learning – promote education and learning; Creativity – stimulate creativity and cultural excellence; Diversity – represent the UK, its nations, regions and communities; Global – bring the UK to the world and the world to the UK; Emerging communications – help to deliver to the public the benefit of emerging communications technologies and services.
  3. The last review of BBC Children's Services in 2009 found that they were delivering popular content which successfully appealed to a wide audience and made important contributions to the public purposes. The review commended staff for their achievements with the resources available. Some strategic questions were raised however, including whether plans to commission fewer, more ambitious programmes and generate more commercial income could impact on the service's ability to appeal to a diverse audience and contribute to the public purposes. The Trust's full report can be read here.
  4. The Children's consultation is aimed at children between the ages of six and 12, as this is CBBC's target audience.