I would like to start today by reflecting on the last year for Signature and for our centres.
We started the year by going into lockdown, challenging us all once again. But you, our centres and learners stepped up again using innovation and determination to support each other and continued to deliver and pass our qualifications. We are extremely proud and thankful for having centres that are so committed to delivering outstanding experiences for those learning BSL.
In July, we moved into our new office here at Shannon house, moving to a space that is more suitable for us and while we haven’t yet been able to welcome anyone to our new home, we hope we will get a chance for you to come and visit soon.
In October, we launched BSLforBeginners a comprehensive online course developed with our language experts and Deaf teachers to provide essential communication skills and knowledge. We want all BSL learners to have confidence that they are learning from experienced teachers and this is why we have created this course. We have received extremely positive feedback from people completing it and an encouraging number of people going on to look for a Level One BSL course.
In October, we were shortlisted for the Federation of Awarding bodies ‘qualification of the year’ for our Level 6 Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting and Translation qualification. We pride ourselves on the quality of our qualifications and we were delighted to see this being recognised.
Finally, we can’t reflect on the last 12 months without a special mention for Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice on Strictly Come Dancing. They are inspiring so many people to learn British Sign Language as well as improving awareness, it’s been incredible to watch.
Looking forward to 2022 we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary… that’s 40 years of working tirelessly to improve communication by creating learning opportunities for every stage of life. Helping over 450,000 people to learn British Sign Language as well as thousands of others across our other qualifications. We hope we will be able to share this celebration with you all.
We look forward to engaging with the Department for Education on the consultation for the GCSE in BSL in the first half of the year and we will continue make as much progress as we can towards achieving this.
We also look forward to welcoming even more new centres and learners to our qualifications. It is an exciting experience for learners and we will continue to encourage more and more people to learn from our outstanding centres and teachers.
Like everywhere, Signature has transformed significantly over the last 24 months, and 2022 will see us continue to grow even stronger as an organisation, this can’t happen without you so I want to thank you all for your hard work and support this year, and I wish you all the best for the holiday season.