Welcome to the NatSIP Website

This website offers access to a wealth of SI resources, most of which are now freely available.  We encourage you to register on the site for full access to everything we have to offer.  Registration is free, and open to anyone.  A walkthrough/howto on the registration process is here.

In light of enquiries coming through to stakeholders (NDCS, BDA, BATOD, Signature, ABSLTA etc) on how to train as a BSL GCSE teacher we have collaborated together on a response to these enquiries in relation to secondary schools in England only. 

Firstly, it is exciting that there are enquiries coming through on training to be a BSL GCSE teacher. We recognise the recent media coverage on the BSL GCSE has sparked such interest and we hope this comes to fruition. 

There is another consultation by Ofqual on GCSE BSL in 2024; see Signature’s press release. The BDA have also released a press statement calling on the Government to invest in Deaf teachers to deliver the BSL GCSE. Teacher supply and training has been mentioned in the Government response to the consultation (p11-12) which gives further information on the DfE’s views in this matter; suggesting that the current workforce of BSL teachers already teaching BSL in the post-16 education sector could be utilised to teach BSL GCSE, as well as guidance on ITT BSL GCSE training for new trainees. 

At present, our understanding is that to work as a secondary school teacher in a state-maintained school in England, you must have a degree in the subject (or closely related) you want to teach, and achieve qualified teacher status (QTS) by completing a period of initial teacher training (ITT). 

To qualify as a BSL GCSE teacher, we would expect, in time,  a trainee to have a Level 6 qualification in BSL and a QTS. 

We recognise that there may be a challenge in supplying a workforce to meet the longer term demands of teaching BSL GCSE in secondary schools ready for September 2025.

As stakeholders, it has been agreed that we would recommend BSL GCSE teachers have at least a Level 4 BSL qualification, working towards Level 6 BSL by 2030. There should also be flexibility in enabling and supporting those teaching BSL GCSE to achieve their QTS by 2030. Signature are currently working with this group of stakeholders to provide more understanding on the current teaching workforce in England.

Similar with any secondary subject, to teach it well means an solid knowledge and understanding of the subject matter. 

Deaf teachers should be actively preferred wherever possible, and that long-term development should be geared towards Deaf predominance in this sector, because there is no substitute for learners engaging directly with Deaf people as they study BSL and associated cultural topics.

At present there is no further information on the range of training pathways available for interested trainees. As stakeholders we remain focused on supporting the DfE and subsequent awarding bodies with the roll out of the GCSE BSL with our views, issues and solutions taken into consideration.