BBC Jam (formerly known as BBC Digital Curriculum) was an online educational service operated by the BBC from January 2006 to 20 March 2007. The service was available free across the United Kingdom offering multi-media educational resources. Jam was the BBC's provision for the Digital Curriculum, an initiative launched by the British Government to provide computer-based learning in UK schools, and had a budget of £150 million. The service was shut down due to a legal challenge concerning fair trading by the BBC.[1][2]

BBC Jam logo.png
Type of site
Available inEnglish, Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish
Created byBBC
LaunchedJanuary 2006
Closed 20 March 2007
Current statusClosed


The content of the service was connected with the National Curriculum for schools in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. It covered school subjects such as maths, science, literacy, geography, business studies and languages, and was designed to provide free, independent computer-based learning for school children.[1]

The service was required to support users with disability by incorporating accessibility features such as audible text, subtitles on videos etc. There were also subjects which were translated into Welsh, Scottish Gaelic and Irish.[3]


Prior to launchEdit

BBC Jam was commissioned in 2003 by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and designed:-[citation needed]

  • to stimulate, support and reflect the diversity of the UK
  • to innovate continually and to promote technological and pedagogical experimentation
  • to be distinctive from, and complementary to, services provided by the commercial sector

In consultation with BECTA, the Government's educational technology department, the service was allowed to cover no more than 50% of the learning outcomes that are amendable to ICT.


The service was suspended on 20 March 2007 at the request of the BBC Trust, in response to complaints made to the European Commission by a number of commercial producers of interactive educational products who felt that the BBC was exceeding its public service remit by offering free content to schools which could be provided commercially.[4] This resulted in departmental restructuring and a number of job losses in the BBC.[5] The Trust requested that the BBC management prepare a fresh proposal, including how the BBC should deliver its Charter obligation — promoting formal education and learning, whilst meeting the online needs of school age children.

The new proposal was subjected to a full Public Value Test by the Trust and a market impact assessment by Ofcom, the United Kingdom's telecoms regulator.

In February 2008 it was announced that the BBC's digital curriculum project would finally be closed.[6]


  1. ^ a b "BBC curriculum gets kids to jam". BBC News. 27 January 2006.
  2. ^ "BBC suspends net learning project". BBC News. 14 March 2007.
  3. ^ "BBC jam goes live". BBC Press Office. 27 January 2006.
  4. ^ "BBC Trust suspends BBC Jam". BBC Trust. 14 March 2007.
  5. ^ "Post closures follow suspension of BBC Jam". BBC Press Office. 14 May 2007.
  6. ^ Gibson, Owen (28 February 2008). "No relaunch for £150m BBC Jam". The Guardian.

External linksEdit