British Sign Language GCSE could become a reality for UK pupils

A British Sign Language GCSE could be introduced after tens of thousands of people signed a petition calling for the Government to make the sign system part of the school curriculum. iNews reports. 

The Department for Education has said it it “open to considering” a British Sign Language (BSL) GCSE, a development that the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) has described as a “fantastic step in the right direction”, according to the industry publication Schools Week.

In a written answer to a question posed by the Conservative MP Peter Aldous regarding what progress had been made on introducing a BSL GSCE, schools minister Nick Gibb said no plans were underway to develop a curriculum during this Parliament “to allow schools a period of stability following the recent reforms”.

“However,” Mr Gibb continued, “the Government is open to considering a proposal for a BSL GCSE for possible introduction in the longer term.”

Just three months ago Mr Gibb’s position was rather different, with the minister arguing “not everything that is taught in schools needs to be a GCSE”.

A petition calling on the Government to make BSL part of the National Curriculum noted that around 50,000 people in the UK use the language to communicate.

“There are many children who are born deaf, and we need to give them a better chance at a more integrated future,” it stated.

Read more British Sign Language GCSE could become a reality for UK pupils

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