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Welcome to the Deaf Education in the UK website, run by Rachel O’Neill at the University of Edinburgh, and Rob Wilks at UWE Bristol.  The website was originally focused on deaf education and the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 but the project has since expanded to include Wales and ethical dilemmas in deaf education. 

As both Rachel and Rob are interested in the impact of the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 on deaf education in Scotland, this website was set up to contribute to the review of the first national British Sign Language (BSL) plan (National Plan) in late 2021, and to act as a discussion point for deaf young people themselves, the wider Deaf community, parents, teachers, third sector organisations, academics and other professionals about what changes the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015 has so far made in relation to deaf education.  The impact of the British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015 on deaf education report was published on 12 November 2021.  This report was the culmination of phase 1 of our research.

In phase 2, funded by the University of South Wales Early Career Researchers Prime Pump Fund (where Rob Wilks previously worked), comparisons of the Scottish approach were undertaken with Wales.  Of interest was the contrast between the two nations and particularly the role of the respective education systems in supporting BSL. In Scotland, the push has been to explore how hearing children can be encouraged to learn BSL (as opposed to deaf children learning BSL). In contrast, without a BSL Act in Wales, the focus has been to include BSL in the national curriculum which includes deaf children.

Finally, in phase 3, we unravel the ethical and moral dilemmas Teachers of Deaf Children and Young People (ToDs) encounter and assess whether a code of practice could enhance their decision-making processes.



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