This petition was submitted during the 2015–2017 Conservative government
Petition Make British Sign Language part of the National Curriculum.
There are currently 11 million people within the United Kingdom with hearing loss. Some of these profoundly deaf - yet British Sign Language has still not been made a part of the national curriculum. I urge you all to sign this and make BSL a mandatory subject in schools.
This petition closed early because of a General Election Find out more on the Petitions Committee website
This response was given on 22 February 2017
British Sign Language was recognised as a language in its own right by the government in 2003.Whilst it is not a mandatory part of the curriculum, schools are free to teach it if they choose to do so.
Read the response in full
The teaching of a foreign language is statutory at key stages 2 and 3 for pupils in maintained schools.
Teaching of one modern foreign language has always been a statutory requirement of the national curriculum at key stage 3, and schools can teach any modern foreign language to meet this requirement. From September 2014, maintained primary schools must teach a modern or ancient foreign language to pupils at key stage 2.
The government accepts that British Sign Language (BSL) can be a beneficial subject that schools might choose to teach in addition to foreign languages. However, the national curriculum programmes of study for languages contain a number of requirements that could not be met through BSL; for example at key stage 2 the requirement to describe people, places, things and actions in writing. A maintained school would therefore be unable to meet the curriculum requirement solely by teaching BSL.
Department for Education