All secondary school pupils in England will soon be able to do a GCSE in British Sign Language, the Government has confirmed.
The groundbreaking new GCSE will give pupils at schools nationwide – including those right across Greater Manchester – the opportunity to learn how to “effectively communicate” using British Sign Language (BSL).
Set to provide students with what the Government has dubbed “an important life skill”, and being introduced with the aim of “advancing inclusivity within education”, the news that the new qualification will be available from 2025 comes following a 12-week public consultation.
The Department for Education (DfE) says it received “overwhelmingly positive support” for introducing the new GCSE from parents, teachers and organisations from the deaf and hearing communities – with their responses from the consultation said to be going towards helping ensure the content of the qualification is “knowledge-rich, diverse in its teaching, and challenging”.
The Government is aiming for the BSL GCSE to have exam board syllabuses approved from the start of the academic term in September 2025.
In line with all other qualifications, the BSL GCSE will be open to all pupils, the Government has confirmed.
It will also be recognised and accepted in all school and college performance tables.
Set to be an internationally recognised qualification, the Government says that pupils who study the new BSL GCSE will get to develop ways of expressing and negotiating meaning through visual spatial language, as well effective communication and visual memory skills that will be an advantage to them for the rest of their lives.
As well as learning how to sign, the GCSE will also give students an understanding of the history of sign language in the UK to provide them with “a solid foundation” for understanding how the language reached its current form.
“Studying British Sign Language can open so many doors for young people,” commented Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, as the new qualification was announced this week.
“It will give pupils an understanding of how thousands of people communicate and ultimately even expanding job prospects.”
A look at the plans to turn historic Ancoats mill with rich musical heritage into new apartment complex
Hodder + Partners have just revealed new CGIs and a more detailed look at the plans for their redevelopment of the longstanding Brunswick Mill in Ancoats which is set to become a brand-new apartment complex.
The proposals to turn the once creative space with decades of musical heritage into a new residential site were revealed back in 2021 and approved within just a few months, despite having been met with plenty of resistance given its history and cultural significance.
Nevertheless, Northern company Big Red Construction recently kicked off the £50+ million renovation on behalf of developer Arrowsmith Investments and the apartments are projected to be finished in 2026.
With that in mind, the architectural designers Hodder have just released a new look at what Brunswick Mill is set to look like once completed:
Set to transform the historic industrial mill-turned-creative space and music studios on the edge of New Islington into 153 new apartments, ranging from one, two and three-bedroom residences, the redevelopment will be spread across two phases.
In line with designs by Hodder + Partners, the initial phase involves converting the existing mill building and the construction of new four and seven-storey elements to accommodate the remaining 127 homes on the Bradford Road plot in Ancoats.
Big Red Construction, who are also working on the Peelers Yard building for CERT Property and Myprotein founder Oliver Cookson, are expected to complete phase one by the first quarter of 2026.
Here’s another look at what living space people are already buying up:
Along with Hodder + Partners as architects, the project team also consists of HW Consultancy who are covering structural aspects, Manchester firm Clancy for mechanical and electrical considerations, as well as AM Pyro as fire engineers.
With property company Orlando Reid serving as estate agents for the project, 42 out of the 153 apartments have already been sold off-plan, with managing director Baljit Arora describing it as “an exciting period for all parties involved and for the city of Manchester”.
This is just the latest chapter in the continued regeneration of the Ancoats and the New Islington areas, which remain two of the most heavily re-developed areas in the city centre and Greater Manchester as a whole. You can see other hot properties in and around the region HERE.