Category: National Deaf Children's Society

Posted on 30.04.2024

When a new GCSE in British Sign Language (BSL), was confirmed in December last year, the National Deaf Children’s Society was rightly delighted.

The Department for Education published the finalised BSL GCSE subject content, marking the culmination of a decade of campaigning by the National Deaf Children’s Society and many individual young deaf people.

“A GCSE in BSL is vital as it will break down barriers and celebrate the rich culture and history of BSL. An incredible amount of work has been undertaken to get to this point, not least from deaf young campaigner Daniel Jillings, who fought so hard for the right to study a GCSE in BSL.”  Susan Daniels, CEO, the National Deaf Children’s Society.

Expanding opportunities for everyone

BSL is the first or preferred language of many deaf children in the UK, with around one in ten deaf children and young people using sign language in their education.

A BSL GCSE will give these deaf children the opportunity to achieve a GCSE in their own, legally recognised language. Research has shown that many hearing children are interested in learning BSL too, and doing so will allow them to learn a new language and communicate more effectively with their deaf peers.

The Department for Education’s 12-week consultation on the draft subject content for the new GCSE has now concluded.  They will now use the feedback to finalise the course content for pupils across England, with study beginning in September 2025.

Your support is helping to enable more deaf children to be seen and included – thank you.

Photo: Daniel Jillings and Peter Aldous MP


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