Sacking hits BBC education programmes

14th July 2000 at 01:00
THE BBC's head of education production is one of the first casualties in a major restructuring of the corporation announced last week, writes Alison Brace.

Marilyn Wheatcroft, in charge of the department for the past five years, has been told to leave her job at the end of July.

Her team of 250 producers - responsible for making programmes for pre-school through to adult learners - were said to be deeply shocked by the announcement.

The move raises questions about the BBC's plans for education broadcasting as it switches its focus to digital interactive learning."Marilyn has a passionfor education, a lifelong commitment to it," a colleague of Ms Wheatcroft's said. "With education meant to be at the heart of the BBC, not to have a post for somebody with so much experience is nothing short of criminal."

BBC Education is now part of a new department called Factual and Learning.

Staff have been given the choice of either producing material for digital output or continuing to produce educational television programmes - which have been guaranteed a further three years.

More than 1,000 BBC staff will lose their jobs over the next three years.

Analysis, 21

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