A timeline of our BSL GCSE campaign
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
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.”
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.
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.
Our campaigners have been in action - @AnnJillings, her son Daniel and her MP Peter Aldous met @NickGibbUK today to talk about the campaign for a BSL GCSE. Nick listed sympathetically to the passionate case made by Daniel and his mum - but the campaign continues pic.twitter.com/fCjmmH1sey— NDCS (@NDCS_UK) March 20, 2018
Watch Daniel's vlog:
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reflecting on the campaign
After years of campaigning for a British Sign Language (BSL) GCSE, we've almost reached our goal.