The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

APPG 2014-15

In 2014 the APPG demanded little contact time from its members, but has been quietly and efficiently keeping over 100 parliamentarians across both houses and all parties informed.

The year began with the group following up on some earlier discussions about British film for children. The BFI Film Forever event in January raised questions that we hoped would be answered later in the year. The BFI’s report was expected last autumn. It's not been made public. We have not forgotten.

The AGM in June focussed on children’s arts, with Action For Children’s Arts giving an impassioned presentation on the inequalities of public funding for children’s arts and a call for the country to live up to its responsibilities as stated article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.   While it is easy for politicians to display the right amount of handwringing and hope that everyone forgets, our AGM added momentum to the campaign. Following on from this, the APPG looked more closely at the ongoing changes Ten piecesto music education and was able to raise awareness of its value to children and to society as a whole. To further this, we also supported and promoted the BBC’s new music education initiative, 'Ten Pieces'. Within Westminster we distributed over 100 copies of the initial DVD along with further information.

It was pleasing to receive thank you messages from some of the recipients of the DVDs. There is a lot of goodwill towards the APPG as it seeks to celebrate the benefits of children’s media and arts. Across the year there were some wonderful celebrations that caught the imagination of members of the group (for example the 50th anniversary of BBC2 and of course of Play School) reminding parliamentarians and policy makers of the long-term value of children’s media. As our co-chair, Baroness Floella Benjamin says, “Childhood lasts a lifetime.”

That goodwill has led to the APPG being sought out to contribute to debates and other parliamentary business. For example, prompting verbal and written questions in the two houses and contributing to Baroness Kidron’s debate on children and the internet. This led to the minister Lord Bourne suggesting the APPG head a ‘task force’ to progress the issues raised.