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A timeline of our BSL GCSE campaign

  • May 2017

    The campaign launches

    Our Young People’s Advisory Board (YAB) launch ‘Right to Sign’, a campaign to convince the Government to introduce a GCSE in British Sign Language (BSL) in schools.

    Together with the YAB we launch a petition to urge Parliament to support #RightToSign

  • September 2017

    Disappointing news…

    Nick Gibb, Minister for School Standards at the Department for Education, says ‘no’ to the BSL GCSE.

    The Minister says: “There are no plans to introduce any further GCSEs beyond those to which the Government has already committed.”

  • October 2017

    We won’t be deterred!

    Florence from our Young People’s Advisory Board meets with civil servants at the Department for Education to explain why deaf, and hearing, young people need a BSL GCSE.

  • March 2018

    Meeting with the Minister

    Deaf young person Daniel Jillings, and his mum, Ann Jillings, meet with the Minister for School Standards, Nick Gibb, to talk about the BSL GCSE.

    Watch Daniel's vlog:

  • March 2018

    Parliamentary petition launches

    TV and radio presenter Wayne Barrow, who has grown up with deaf parents, launches a parliament petition to urge the Government to make sign language part of the National Curriculum.

    The Government takes notice! In March 2018 Parliament debate the topic.

  • May 2018

    One step closer!

    The Department for Education confirms that it does not object in principle to the introduction of a GCSE in British Sign Language.

    However, they also say that it can’t be introduced in the current parliament. In theory, this means that there can’t be a BSL GCSE before 2022.

  • June 2018

    Crowdfunding legal costs

    Daniel Jillings keeps the pressure on – he starts a crowdfunding campaign to cover the legal costs of challenging the Government’s delay on introducing a GCSE in BSL.

    Daniel says that the delay is unfair to deaf children and denies them the same opportunities as their hearing peers. We couldn’t agree more!

  • August 2018

    Government U-turn!

    The Department for Education back down on their decision to delay the introduction of a GCSE in British Sign language – it can now be introduced in the current parliament.

    Incredible work by Daniel Jillings and everyone else who has supported the BSL GCSE. What a fantastic result after two years of campaigning!

  • October 2019

    Department for Education say they are developing content

    The Department for Education confirm that they are working with subject experts to develop content for the BSL GCSE. They are aiming to introduce the GCSE as soon as possible.

  • September 2022

    The Government say they will consult on the content in 2022

    The development of the GCSE has been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Minister for Schools and Childhood, Kelly Tolhurst MP, has confirmed that work on the GCSE is continuing. Subject content is now being drafted, and there will be a public consultation about this in the autumn of 2022.

  • January 2023

    Help us to understand how much interest there is the British Sign Language GCSE

    We work together with a coalition to influence the introduction of the BSL GCSE. We share a survey to better understand how much interest there is in the GCSE, including, how many students would study it and which schools would like to offer it.

  • June 2023

    The long-awaited consultation goes live

    Department for Education launches a public consultation seeking views on the draft subject content for the GCSE.

    Our supporters respond to it and show the government the strength of feeling behind the campaign.

  • September 2023

    Reflecting on the campaign

    After years of campaigning for a British Sign Language (BSL) GCSE, we've almost reached our goal.