Sign Language: Education

Department for Education written question – answered on 9th October 2020.

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Photo of Jon Trickett Jon Trickett Labour, Hemsworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including teaching of British Sign Language in the curriculum of Key Stages one, two and three.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The Department recognises and acknowledges that British Sign Language (BSL) can be a beneficial subject for children to be taught. However, the Department does not have plans to introduce any new subjects to the National Curriculum.

Although BSL is not part of the National Curriculum, schools may choose to offer BSL in their school curriculum or include it as part of their extra curricular activities programme.

The Department is working with subject experts to develop draft subject content for a potential BSL GCSE. The Department is engaging with Ofqual, the independent qualifications regulator, to ensure that the subject content can be assessed appropriately and will be working with stakeholders to ensure that a wide range of views are reflected. Subject to being able to develop subject content, which meets the rigorous requirements which applies to all GCSEs, we are aiming to consult publicly on draft content early in 2021. The precise timings of this may be subject to change.

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