So it’s bye-bye BBC Jam, or at least au-revoir.

If you have not been following this story, BBC Jam was the renamed BBC Digital Curriculum, which aimed to produce high quality online learning materials for up to half the English curriculum. It has now been suspended following some legal argy-bargy.

Plenty of pundits have weighed in with opinions about whether Jam was a good or a bad service, and just what its demise (if permanent) might mean, so I won’t. If you are interested, here is a pro-Jam post and here’s an anti-Jam post.

What struck me was just how small it was for something that has eaten £150M of the taxpayer’s money. After two years of effort by what must have been a very large team, they had 170,000 users. That sounds like a lot until you do the arithmetic. Supporting those users cost £882 each.

At that ratio, Yacapaca’s 359,455 members (as of 13:08 this afternoon) would have cost Chalkface just over £317M. Which happily it didn’t, as I would have had to do rather more than just re-mortgage the house to fund it.

What on earth did they spend all that money on?


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