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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-16415: Kezia Dugdale (Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 4 May 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what steps it can take to increase access to affordable BSL lessons.

Answered by: Maree Todd 17 May 2018

Local authorities and other listed authorities are required by the British Sign Language (BSL) Scotland Act 20156 to publish their own BSL Plans by October 2018. These plans could include strategies for increasing access to affordable BSL classes in local areas.

Our British Sign Language (BSL) National Plan which we published in October 2017 sets out specific steps we will take by 2020 to support the teaching and learning of BSL. This includes working with Scotland’s National Centre for Languages to provide resources which will enable our schools to offer BSL alongside other languages. We believe this will play a crucial role in supporting and promoting BSL in Scotland, however it is the decision of each individual school and local authority as to which languages are taught and as such the Scottish Government is unable to intervene in these decisions.