British Sign Language (BSL) looks set to be taught as a GCSE in England from September 2025, the government has said.

Plans have progressed after the subject content was finalised - meaning students are one step closer to the British Sign Language GCSE being taught in schools.

And for the family of Lowestoft teenager Daniel Jillings - who has campaigned tirelessly for years to have a GCSE in British Sign Language (BSL) introduced in England - it is "amazing to finally get to this point."

Lowestoft Journal: Campaigner Daniel Jillings at the parliamentary reception earlier this year. Picture: National Deaf Children’s SocietyCampaigner Daniel Jillings at the parliamentary reception earlier this year. Picture: National Deaf Children’s Society (Image: National Deaf Children’s Society)

It comes after parents, teachers and the deaf and hearing communities took part in a 12-week consultation on the content of the British Sign Language (BSL) GCSE.

Now, the government is aiming to have exam board syllabuses approved for the new qualification from September 2025.

It will teach students how to sign effectively using BSL and it will give them an understanding of the history of sign language in the UK, the Department for Education (DfE) said.

With BSL officially recognised as a language in the UK last year, after the British Sign Language Act was passed, the new qualification will be open to all pupils, who will learn about 1,000 signs.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said the subject will "open so many doors for young people".

Susan Daniels, chief executive of the National Deaf Children's Society, said: "An incredible amount of work has been undertaken to get to this point, not least from young deaf campaigner Daniel Jillings who fought so hard for the right to study a GCSE in BSL."

The government said five years ago that it would consider introducing a GCSE in BSL after Daniel, from Lowestoft, campaigned for the new qualification.

Earlier this year the 17-year-old told politicians at a parliamentary reception of the importance of deaf awareness and said the qualification is "vital."

Having been born profoundly deaf without a cochlea, Daniel cannot use hearing aids or cochlear implants.

As he does not use speech, BSL is his first language.

Daniel began campaigning for the GCSE when he was 12 - and of the latest developments, he told the BBC: "This is a significant moment in the history of the British deaf community, as it is a powerful step to equality."

Of the plans to introduce British Sign Language as a GCSE in England, Daniel's mother Ann Jillings tweeted on X (formerly Twitter): "Amazing to finally get to this point."

Waveney MP Peter Aldous has constantly highlighted Daniel's campaign.