Sign Language: Curriculum

Department for Education written question – answered on 28th June 2022.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has had discussions with the Minister for Women and Equalities on the potential merits of including basic sign language in the social skills curriculum.

Photo of Robin Walker Robin Walker The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, Minister of State (Education)

Education is a devolved matter, and the response outlines the information for England only.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has not had discussions with my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Women and Equalities, on including basic sign language in a social skills curriculum.

The government does not set out guidance on a social skills curriculum for schools in England and there are no plans to make British Sign Language (BSL) part of the statutory curriculum. The statutory curriculum, including the national curriculum, is just one element in the wide-ranging education of every child which makes up the broader school curriculum.

Schools are free to offer BSL as part of their wider school curriculum, to meet the needs of their pupils if they wish.

The department is working with Ofqual and subject experts to develop subject content for a British Sign Language GCSE. We aim to consult publicly on the draft subject content in autumn 2022.

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