Exciting News From Northern Ireland

Signature is pleased to announce that the Entitlement Framework in Northern Ireland is in place for the forthcoming academic year. The Framework requires that all pupils aged between 14 and 19 are provided with a range of options at both GCSE and A Level. There will be 24 choices at GCSE and 27 at A Level and these must include a mix of both vocational (or applied) and academic subjects. Many schools are working in partnership with other schools and Further Education Colleges in Area Learning Communities to allow them to offer this choice to pupils.

The Department of Education in Northern Ireland (DENI) is in the process of compiling a list of qualifications eligible to be included on the Framework. Signature’s Level 1 Award in British Sign Language and Level 2 Certificate in British Sign Language courses have been included as one applied subject. A school offering our Level 1 and 2 courses over 2 years as an alternative to a GCSE subject will therefore be eligible for funding to provide the course.

The first school to offer the course in this format will be Shimna Integrated College, a specialist language school in Newcastle, County Down. They will begin teaching the course at the start of the new academic year, in September.

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