To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which further education colleges are offering Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People (CACDP) British Sign Language beginners courses at Level One and Level Two in the 2006-07 academic year; and how many such colleges have stopped providing CACDP British Sign Language beginners courses at Level One and Level Two since his Department withdrew funding for British Sign Language classes.
We have not withdrawn funding from sign language courses. Sign language courses remain eligible for learning and skills council (LSC) funding and have not been reclassified or redefined in terms of their eligibility for funding. We have been clear that provision for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, including those with hearing impairments, remains a priority as was stated in both the grant letter to the LSC for 2007-08 and the LSC's annual statement of priorities.
We do not hold information on the individual courses offered by further education colleges. However, in line with the commitments in the LSC's annual statement of priorities we expect that the proportion of learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities will be maintained.