BBC Trust - Trust seeks children's views on BBC programmes

Date: 21.06.2008     Last updated: 23.09.2014 at 09.53
For the first time, the BBC Trust is asking children to say what they think of BBC programmes made for them.

As part of its review of the BBC's content and services for children which began last month, the Trust has launched a new website where children aged 12 and under can also join the public consultation and give their views on BBC programmes – in writing, by drawing pictures or by sending in videos and sound recordings. Parents and carers are encouraged to help younger children to use the website.

The Trust's rolling programme of full-scale reviews of all the BBC services began last year and its first review of was published in May. Announcing the review of content and services for children in January, Sir Michael Lyons, Chairman of the BBC Trust, said:

"The BBC has to engage effectively with all its audiences if it is to deliver its Public Purposes. Children and young people are no exception. And while BBC services for children enjoy a high reputation, as Ofcom's research has shown, high quality British-made children's content in general is in some trouble. The Trust wants to be sure that the BBC is engaging with children as effectively as possible across all its platforms and is not in danger of following the retreat of its commercial competitors."

Mehmuda Mian Pritchard, BBC Trustee, who is leading the service review for the Trust, said:

"The BBC provides a wide range of programmes for children on CBeebies, CBBC, its other TV channels, and on the radio. Right now, the BBC Trust is reviewing how the BBC meets the needs of children through education and learning, entertainment and helping to understand the world in which they live. We are seeking the views of licence fee payers and others in the industry so we can be sure this vital part of the BBC's public service remit is sustained in the future. Our understanding would not be complete without hearing the views of those for whom the services and programmes are developed: the children themselves. We want to find out what children like, what they think could be better and what they want to see more of in the future. Along with parents, teachers and other adults, this is their chance to say what they think."

On the website children will be asked what they think of BBC children's TV and radio programmes: what they think is good, what's not so good, what do they think of the websites, are the programmes shown at the right time, what kind of programmes do they want to see in the future and what would be their perfect BBC children's programme or website? As well as the opportunity to send in their writing, pictures, or recordings on these topics, a selection of which will be shown in galleries on the site, children will also be able to air their views via a moderated online message board.

The consultation responses from adults, the industry and children themselves, together with formal audience research, will help the Trust form an assessment of the BBC's current performance. Alongside this there will be an assessment of market developments in children's programmes based on independent analysis by the Trust's own advisers. Following the completion of the service review, the Trust has the authority to change service budgets or the strategic direction of children's provision.

The website will be promoted across the BBC's range of children's programmes and services (including at Over 20,000 primary schools in the UK will be sent a poster and information pack about the website inviting children to get involved.


Notes to editors:

The site has been developed by Kids Industries, an agency specialising in communication with children. It complies with all relevant children's safety guidelines and children are only asked to give their first name, age and gender. The online message board will be moderated to ensure that children are protected and no personal information is revealed.

The consultation for adults will close on 15 August and the consultation for children will close after the school summer holidays in mid September. The Trust will publish the conclusions of the review in the winter.

The review of content and services for children covers:

  • CBeebies for children under the age of six on television, radio and on-line
  • CBBC for children aged between six and 12 on television and online
  • Formal learning resources for primary schools on television, radio and online (including BBC Schools)
  • Other children's provision including Go4it on Radio 4 and Big Toe Books on the digital radio station BBC 7.

Terms of reference for the review are available:

Terms of reference

The next planned service review is into BBC services and programmes for younger audiences. The younger audiences service review will begin in the autumn.

BBC Trust is the BBC's independent governing body. It works on behalf of the public, the people who own and pay for the BBC.