Saturday 20 Sep 2014
Jana Bennett, Director, BBC Vision, today announces Saul Nassé as the new Controller of BBC Learning.
Saul will be responsible for the BBC's formal learning content, including the highly popular and successful Bitesize, as well as for commissioning key Knowledge TV programmes, formal and informal online Learning content, and off-air events and campaigns like Headroom and Breathing Places, which promote education and learning to all audiences.
He will also lead BBC Learning's move to its new home in Salford in 2011.
Saul is currently based in Mumbai where he has been General Manager and Creative Head of BBC Worldwide Productions India since 2007.
He will start work in January 2010 and report to George Entwistle, Controller, BBC Knowledge Commissioning.
Jana Bennett says: "Saul's various roles have given him rich experience of religion, history, science and other genres as well as multiplatform production. He and his team will play a vital role in ensuring that the BBC continues to fulfil one of our core public purposes – the delivery of exciting educational content across all platforms and audiences."
George Entwistle says: "Saul is a top-class creative and collaborative leader with a wealth of editorial experience relevant to this role. His mission is to build on the success of services like Bitesize and Class Clips, and on campaigns such as Breathing Places, by forging ever stronger links between Learning, Knowledge and the rest of the BBC. This job really is at the heart of our public service remit and can add tremendous value and relevance to everything the BBC does."
Saul replaces previous Controller, Liz Cleaver, who steps down from the post at the end of the year.
Saul says: "I'm thrilled to have been asked to lead Learning at a time ripe with opportunity. As well as building on the department's recent successes I want to find new ways to inspire, join up and magnify opportunities for learning right across the BBC.
"I'm delighted to be part of the move to BBC North, which offers a great chance to reinvent the way we work and build new partnerships."
Before his current job, in which he established BBC Worldwide's TV production office in Mumbai as a successful business, Saul had a long track record of editorial achievement in the BBC. Former jobs included editing the popular and critically-acclaimed India and Pakistan season in 2007; and working as Head of Development for Specialist Factual in 2006, building the BBC's relationship with the Discovery Channel.
In 2005, he was also the Acting Head of Religion and Ethics, where he ran a department producing religious programmes across all media, including the highly praised coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II; Executive Producer of the BBC World Service Trust's Haath Se Haath Milaa, a programme to help promote AIDS awareness in India; and from 1997 to 2001 he was Editor of Tomorrow's World, BBC One's popular primetime science programme.
BBC Learning plays a central part in meeting the BBC's purpose of supporting education and building knowledge, providing specialist learning content for children and adults and stimulating audiences to develop interest in, and knowledge of, a wide range of subjects.
Formal learning offers a portfolio of resources and activities to support the learning needs of children, teenagers and adults. Apart from curriculum-related material there is a growing emphasis on helping people of all ages develop a range of skills. Areas of activity include Bitesize, a revision and recap offering for 6-16 year olds, and Blast, which encourages teenagers to develop their skills through engagement in the creative arts.
Knowledge campaigns build on the interest generated by broadcast programmes, enabling people to learn by participating in events and activities developed with partners. Examples include Headroom, a two-year campaign which supports people in taking simple steps to look after their own mental wellbeing, and Breathing Places, a five-year campaign encouraging people to do one thing to create and protect nature-friendly spaces in their local areas.
BBC Learning plays a central role in delivering the knowledge-building strategy for the BBC. The strategy focuses on the specialist subjects that audiences 'need to know' about, creates a deeper knowledge experience through multiplatform and works closely with partners to maximise the value of content.
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