Christine Jardine calls for British Sign Language to be taught in schools

Christine Jardine has called for British Sign Language to be taught in schools.

Writing in the Scotsman, she said:

Surely we could and should have BSL as part of the curriculum in our schools?

How much would it cost to simply teach it along with the alphabet when our children are at their most receptive?

Many years ago, I remember a friend teaching her toddler sign language as he was learning to speak. She explained that it is the point in our lives when we are a blank canvass and learn most easily.

I was embarrassed that I had not been able to do the same, or thought to try.

And it frustrates me that while our children can rightly choose to learn French, Spanish, German, Italian and even Gaelic in their classroom, they do not have access to a language that could improve their ability to communicate with members of their own community, and improve their quality of life.

She described that incredibly powerful and stunningly beautiful moment on Strictly during Rose Ayling-Ellis’s dance when the music stopped and she and her partner Giovanni continued to dance as her stand out moment of 2021.

Its immediate impact was even greater than that of their spectacular victory in a Strictly final that was a visual representation of the diversity we would all want to see in boardrooms and workplaces up and down the country. Entertainment television which conveyed the most powerful of messages.
Too often we are only aware of an issue when it affects us or a loved one personally. Or we are swept up in a moment and say “oh something must be done”, only to let our good intentions slip away again.

She talked about the success of Dame Evelyn Glennie, who was quick to offer support for her idea on Twitter:

You can read Christine’s whole article here.

And just because it is so wonderful, here is Rose and Giovanni’s amazing dance.

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One Comment

  • Brad Barrows 5th Jan '22 - 5:45pm

    “…and even Gaelic…”
    Quite a sad, really, that Christine feels the need to add ‘and even’ when referencing Gaelic. Why could she not just list Gaelic along with other non-English languages taught in our schools, without feeling to make such a comment? For the record, more people speak Gaelic in Scotland than use British Sign Language.

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