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Teachers: Sign Language

Volume 477: debated on Thursday 12 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will provide funding for models for the training of British Sign Language teaching in addition to Lifelong Learning UK courses. (208128)

The Department has no current plans to fund development of British Sign Language (BSL) training. There are existing Higher Education Funding Council for England and Learning and Skills Council public funding streams, through which providers can apply for funds for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) courses.

Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) has developed a qualifications framework and guidance for the sector workforce, but course design is the responsibility of the awarding institution or sometimes the delivery centre. Importantly, providers of teacher training for the FE sector are independent organisations with the freedom and ability to develop courses which they feel meet sector business needs, including teacher training courses contextualised for BSL.

LLUK requirements do not prevent ITT course providers from meeting the needs of BSL teacher trainees. There are many examples of contextualised ITT courses for particular groups of trainees, such as performing arts or lip reading.