Saul Nassé named BBC Learning chief

The Guardian reports this today:

Saul Nassé is to replace Liz Cleaver as controller of BBC Learning when she steps down at the end of the year, the BBC announced today.

Nassé is currently based in Mumbai where he has been general manager and creative head of BBC Worldwide Productions India since 2007.

I don’t know Saul and wish him all the best in his new job. And for you cynics: no, I didn’t want it or apply for it.

I am however worried about the tone of the announcements surrounding his appointment. They sound more and more like a BBC retreating from offering anything truly substantial aimed at schools or for use in the classroom – George Entwhistle is reported to have said

[…]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 sounds very much like Learning is becoming absorbed into a mission to educate in its widest – and least controversial – sense. It doesn’t sound like it includes a mission to challenge, complement and enrich what is going on in schools. I am worried the BBC has finally completely caved in to the vested interests of a few powerful commercial companies, and we are left with no organisation to challenge orthodoxy. I hope I am wrong.

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