Signature has been involved with the process of creating a GCSE in BSL for many years now, beginning with a successful pilot qualification in 2015, where we oversaw its creation and distribution throughout a range of secondary schools.
However, at that time, neither the Department for Education (DfE), nor Ofqual were in a position to develop a qualification at this time.
Despite set backs, we continued to utilise our own resources in order to step up our fight to make the GCSE a reality. We have seen some major developments within the last twelve months, and I am pleased with how much Signature has achieved over such a short period.
In July 2018, Signature met with both DfE and Ofqual to further discuss the possibility of creating a GCSE in BSL. After a successful meeting, we were tasked with creating two proposals for the development of a GCSE.
Following much work and commitment, In November 2018 Signature submitted these two proposals to DfE and Ofqual. A meeting with DfE and Ofqual then followed in February 2019.
Based upon the proposals that Signature submitted, it was confirmed that DfE will now begin the complex process of developing subject content to see if a GCSE qualification is possible.
I am proud of the hard work undertaken by Signature up until this point, and I very much see this result as an achievement for both us, and for thousands of children throughout the UK.
Signature has continued to push ahead with this, but we must now wait with everyone else as DfE take this forward. We continue to offer support to them during this time.
On Thursday 15th June 2023, the Department for Education and Ofqual released their public consultation documents, the purpose of the consultation is to gain feedback on the proposed subject content requirements that will form the basis of the new GCSE in BSL.
These requirements are designed to become a regulatory document which will set out in technical language the minimum knowledge, understanding and skills needed for the GCSE. The subject content provides the framework for awarding organisations to create the detail of qualification specifications; these specifications will set out for teachers in more detail what students will study.
Any awarding organisation that offers the GCSE will provide resources to support schools, and stakeholder organisations can also support its teaching.
St Clere's School, Essex
Oak Lodge School, London
Darrick Wood Secondary School, Kent
Blackburn College, Blackburn
Sanders School, Essex
Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School, Kent
At the start of 2015, we recruited a working group to write the draft qualification specification content, along with the teacher support materials and other necessary documents in preparation for the a pilot programme.
The qualification will be piloted in secondary schools throughout the UK from September 2015. Following the pilot, we aim to make the qualification available to all schools - We are seeking recognition to award GCSE qualifications and intend, in the future, to award this qualification as a GCSE.
If you have any queries about the qualification in British Sign Language (BSL) for secondary, please get in touch with us at email@example.com