British Sign Language - national plan: progress report

A progress report on the British Sign Language (BSL) national plan.

7. Post-school education

7.1 Progress in after-school education

The transition from school to higher or further education, or to the world of work, is a demanding time for everyone.

BSL users may face additional challenges and need additional support in moving from one environment – where use of the language may have been relatively well established – to another. Where many colleges and universities have pursued their own plans for BSL, the National Plan committed to providing support and guidance through the Foundation Apprenticeship and Modern Apprenticeship systems, and to working with Jobcentres and others to raise awareness of the needs of BSL users.

Significant progress has been achieved, including:

  • Information, advice and guidance in BSL for pupils and students has been delivered by Skills Development Scotland.
  • All training providers delivering Foundation Apprenticeships have equalities policies which should cover BSL use.
  • BSL users are entitled to the highest level of Modern Apprenticeship funding.
  • Scottish Government and service providers are working to extend Fair Start Scotland to people with deafness or partial hearing loss.

7.2 Actions and outcomes

Action No. 28


Provide a wide range of information, advice and guidance in BSL for pupils and students to support their career and learning choices and the transition process. This will be delivered by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and will be taken forward as part of our work to implement the 'Career Education Standard 3-18', which is one of the commitments of the 'Developing our Young Workforce' (DYW) strategy.

Update June 2021

This advice has been developed and can be found published online here from Skills Development Scotland .

Action No. 29


Promote Foundation Apprenticeships for school children who use BSL. This will be delivered through Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and will provide the experience employers look for, backed by industry-recognised qualifications, enabling them to do well in their chosen career from the start.

Update June 2021

Foundation Apprenticeships are available across all schools and open to all learners. All training providers have equalities policies and any individual submitting an expression of interest is supported through SDSs CIAG services.

Action No. 30


Give BSL users* the highest level of Modern Apprenticeship funding for their chosen framework.

Update June 2021

The highest contribution rate is paid to any new Apprentices declaring a disability.

Action No. 31


Work with Jobcentres and others to raise awareness of the needs of BSL users* to ensure that they are given relevant, appropriate and accessible advice about their options.

Update June 2021

As part of our continuous improvement activities for Fair Start Scotland in 2021-2022, we are working with Service Providers to extend the reach of the service to eligible groups who are currently under-represented across the service. This includes individuals with D/deaf people.

Through the Young Person's Guarantee, there will be a person-centred approach to promoting fair access to opportunities when providing careers advice and guidance. Practitioners will continue to support young people with additional support needs and provide accessible advice about their options.



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