British Sign Language (BSL) - Toolkit for Practitioners

Published 18/10/2022.  Last updated 21/05/2024
sourceLearning resources schoolLanguages categoryInclusion Wellbeing and Equality

This British Sign Language (BSL) Toolkit sets out the national legislation and General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) standards. Practitioners should be aware of these when working with BSL users. Information to help practitioners understand BSL, Deaf culture and identity is provided throughout the toolkit. It also contains some important definitions for terms used when working with parents and families.

Barriers for those who use BSL

This toolkit considers some of the barriers that BSL users may encounter when trying to engage with education. These are accompanied by ideas and reflective questions on what might help address and overcome these barriers.

"[Deaf] Children and young people who use British Sign Language (BSL) will get the support they need at all stages of their learning, so that they can reach their full potential; parents who use British Sign Language will have the same opportunities as other parents to be fully involved in their child's education; and more pupils will be able to learn British Sign Language at school." (British Sign Language National Plan, 2017-2023, p12, School Education goals 16-24)

How to use this Toolkit

This Toolkit can be used to help support practitioners to meet the challenges of raising attainment for all and ensuring every child and family has the same opportunity to thrive.

Practitioners should engage with the various sections of the Toolkit, including the reflective questions to evaluate and improve their practice where appropriate.

Session 1: working with Deaf parents

Session 1 - How schools can work with deaf parents / Session 2 - BSL Toolkit for teachers of deaf children and young people / Session 3 – BSL with deaf children: practical support for parents (playlist menu at top right of video player box)

PDF file: Session 1 - How schools can work with Deaf parents (1.59 MB)

PDF file: Session 2 - British Sign Language Toolkit launch for teachers of Deaf children and young people (1.5 MB)

PDF file: Session 3 - British Sign Language with Deaf children: practical support for
parents (1.4 MB)

PDF file: Session 4 - Understanding your rights as Deaf children and young people (974 KB)

What was done?

A British Sign Language (BSL) Toolkit was developed for practitioners who support all Deaf children, young people and their families, parents and carers who use BSL, tactile BSL or who may consider using it, in education.

Why?

Data from focus groups, interviews and an online survey suggests that there may be differences in the priorities and perspectives of Deaf parents and practitioners in respect to their children’s learning. Reasons for these differences could be due to a lack of understanding of the needs and barriers of Deaf children and their families.

Practitioners who may not have previously worked with BSL signing families may also be unaware of how to access support. Additionally, they may not have an understanding of Deaf culture, identity and the barriers encountered by BSL signing families when trying to support their children’s learning.

Improving outcomes for BSL signing families remains a key priority across Scotland’s political and educational landscape. In order to achieve this, there is an ongoing need to ensure that the workforce has the appropriate values, competencies, skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications to work effectively with all learners, parents and families.

Downloads

PDF file: British Sign Language (BSL) - Toolkit for Practitioners - Executive summary (433 KB)

PDF file: British Sign Language (BSL) - Toolkit for Practitioners - Full document (2.6 MB)

British Sign Language (BSL) - Toolkit for Practitioners

Published 18/10/2022.  Last updated 21/05/2024
sourceLearning resources schoolLanguages categoryInclusion Wellbeing and Equality

This British Sign Language (BSL) Toolkit sets out the national legislation and General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) standards. Practitioners should be aware of these when working with BSL users. Information to help practitioners understand BSL, Deaf culture and identity is provided throughout the toolkit. It also contains some important definitions for terms used when working with parents and families.

Barriers for those who use BSL

This toolkit considers some of the barriers that BSL users may encounter when trying to engage with education. These are accompanied by ideas and reflective questions on what might help address and overcome these barriers.

"[Deaf] Children and young people who use British Sign Language (BSL) will get the support they need at all stages of their learning, so that they can reach their full potential; parents who use British Sign Language will have the same opportunities as other parents to be fully involved in their child's education; and more pupils will be able to learn British Sign Language at school." (British Sign Language National Plan, 2017-2023, p12, School Education goals 16-24)

How to use this Toolkit

This Toolkit can be used to help support practitioners to meet the challenges of raising attainment for all and ensuring every child and family has the same opportunity to thrive.

Practitioners should engage with the various sections of the Toolkit, including the reflective questions to evaluate and improve their practice where appropriate.

Session 1: working with Deaf parents

Session 1 - How schools can work with deaf parents / Session 2 - BSL Toolkit for teachers of deaf children and young people / Session 3 – BSL with deaf children: practical support for parents (playlist menu at top right of video player box)

PDF file: Session 1 - How schools can work with Deaf parents (1.59 MB)

PDF file: Session 2 - British Sign Language Toolkit launch for teachers of Deaf children and young people (1.5 MB)

PDF file: Session 3 - British Sign Language with Deaf children: practical support for
parents (1.4 MB)

PDF file: Session 4 - Understanding your rights as Deaf children and young people (974 KB)

What was done?

A British Sign Language (BSL) Toolkit was developed for practitioners who support all Deaf children, young people and their families, parents and carers who use BSL, tactile BSL or who may consider using it, in education.

Why?

Data from focus groups, interviews and an online survey suggests that there may be differences in the priorities and perspectives of Deaf parents and practitioners in respect to their children’s learning. Reasons for these differences could be due to a lack of understanding of the needs and barriers of Deaf children and their families.

Practitioners who may not have previously worked with BSL signing families may also be unaware of how to access support. Additionally, they may not have an understanding of Deaf culture, identity and the barriers encountered by BSL signing families when trying to support their children’s learning.

Improving outcomes for BSL signing families remains a key priority across Scotland’s political and educational landscape. In order to achieve this, there is an ongoing need to ensure that the workforce has the appropriate values, competencies, skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications to work effectively with all learners, parents and families.

Downloads

PDF file: British Sign Language (BSL) - Toolkit for Practitioners - Executive summary (433 KB)

PDF file: British Sign Language (BSL) - Toolkit for Practitioners - Full document (2.6 MB)