Published: October 22, 2011
Burnham-On-Sea's MP calls for sign language to be taught in schools

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week called on the government to consider making sign language an option for GCSE school students.

In a debate in the House of Commons, Tessa Munt said she would like sign language to be taught as a "modern foreign language option".

She explained: "British sign language offers an opportunity for people of all ages to develop their vocabulary and to expand their communication skills, and particularly for young people to develop speech and language skills, including their comprehension. It breaks down barriers for everybody, including those with significant learning disabilities."

John Hayes, Minister of State for Further Education, responded: "I understand that an awarding organisation is considering whether to develop and pilot a GCSE in British sign language."

"It will be for the independent regulator, OFQUAL, to consider whether any such qualification meets the appropriate criteria for being recognised as a foreign language GCSE."

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