Closed 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

34,977 signatures


Government responded

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