Consultation on proposed assessment arrangements for GCSEs in British Sign Language

Closed 7 Sep 2023

Opened 15 Jun 2023


Proposals at a glance

The Department for Education (DfE) has proposed subject content for new GCSE qualifications in British Sign Language (BSL). If you would like to read and comment on DfE’s proposed subject content, it can be accessed on DfE’s website

This consultation sets out Ofqual’s proposals for how DfE’s subject content for GCSEs in BSL should be assessed.  

Ofqual proposes that GCSE qualifications in BSL should: 

  • have one set of assessments for all levels of attainment (assessments that are not tiered) 

  • include assessments by examination to assess students’ receptive language skills and their knowledge and understanding of the history of BSL  

  • include non-exam assessment (NEA) to assess students’ productive and interactive language skills (including technical accuracy)  

  • have assessment objectives that address receptive, productive and interactive language skills, technical accuracy, and knowledge and understanding of the history of BSL 

This consultation also provides some information about Ofqual’s considerations for the language and regulatory expectations for the assessments.  


This consultation is open to anyone who may wish to make representation but may be of most interest to:  

  • the deaf community 

  • stakeholder representative organisations or unions 

  • students, including private candidates, who might be interested in taking the new qualification, and their parents and carers 

  • potential teachers, private tutors and home-educators of the new qualification 

  • school and college leaders and heads of other types of exam centres 

  • exams officers 

  • exam boards and awarding organisations 

  • those who use qualifications to make selection decisions: higher education institutions and employers 

Consultation arrangements 


This consultation will be open for 12 weeks starting on 15 June and ending on 7 September 2023. 


Please respond to this consultation by completing the online survey using the link below. The online survey presents the information and questions in English and BSL. Responses to the online survey must be given onscreen and in writing. Responses can be provided in BSL by sending Ofqual a video (or videos) of your BSL responses to the consultation. 

To share your BSL responses or ask for more information on how to do this, please email Please include the consultation title in the subject line of the email and let us know in what capacity you are responding.  

Ofqual has engaged with BSL users to inform how this consultation has been presented to make it as accessible as possible for BSL users. If you need support to access the survey, please email


  • Anyone from any background


  • GCSEs