British Sign Language (BSL) Plan 2024 - 2029

Published 6 May 2024

As required by the BSL (Scotland) Act 2015, the Scottish Government published its second BSL National Plan on 6 November 2023. It was developed through consultation with BSL users and those who work closely with them. We are committed to working towards the shared Scottish Government vision that Scotland be the best place in the world for BSL users to live, work and visit.

The national plan includes 10 long-term priority areas and 45 actions the Scottish Government will take by 2029 to help achieve these goals.

Visit our YouTube channel to watch NCLs BSL Plan for 2024 - 2029 

NCL’s 2024 – 2029 BSL Plan sets out the key actions New College Lanarkshire (NCL) will undertake during this period and is framed around the same long-term goals as the national plan, where relevant to the work of the College.  Production of this plan has assisted us to reflect on what we currently do and would like to achieve across the college to promote and support BSL users.

We have a team of Educational Support Advisors who have specific duties within their job role to work closely with our BSL users to co-ordinate their package of support.  In addition, a dedicated team of Communication Support Workers (CSW) provide signing support to students when required.

NCL is committed to supporting BSL through the delivery of our Introduction to BSL up to BSL SCQF Level 4 courses. Our team of CSW who are all qualified to BSL level 6 or equivalent also ensure applicants, students, staff and visitors can access all College services.

NCL published its first BSL Action Plan in 2018 and to date, has made significant progress in driving forward the commitments outlined within the plan.

Key achievements include:

    • NCL developed a dedicated BSL page on our website.

    • All students and prospective students have access to our Classroom Support Workers (CSW) from pre-entry/application stage and throughout their learner journey, up to and including graduation.

    • Increased delivery of Introduction to BSL to the curriculum including NQ Introduction to Teaching.

    • In partnership with the NCL Staff Development Academy, Introduction to BSL is offered to all NCL staff.

    • Information on health/ mental health services are available in BSL via the student portal.

It is also acknowledged that some actions require further development, and these have been reflected in our current plan to ensure an inclusive environment for all BSL users. 

The NCL BSL Plan was developed through engagement with our current BSL users and Communication Support Workers.  Both parties were provided with questionnaires to gain the views of BSL users and determine what is important to them.  NCL will continue to engage with BSL users to ensure the plan reflects their needs. Furthermore, the plan will be reviewed regularly to ensure progress is being made.

NCL has adopted a college wide approach, led by our BSL working group comprising of our Deputy Principal for Students and the Curriculum and supported by representatives from both Academic Departments and Professional Services. The Plan has been informed by recommendations received from the college’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee and Digital Accessibility Group. To ensure our ongoing commitment to the BSL Action Plan, the plan will be regularly reviewed through the EDI Committee.

The NCL plan sets out our ambitions to promote and support BSL throughout our services. Progress towards the actions within this plan will be reported within our Regional Outcome Agreement. NCL will ensure that inequalities experienced by students who use BSL are being addressed.

Although at this time the College has not included any actions towards the long-term goal of Justice (9), this will be reviewed and amended as appropriate. Additional actions towards other long-term goals may also be added.

The College’s BSL action plan is a living document, and it will be reviewed regularly through reporting to the Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

NCL welcomes any feedback on our BSL Plan from students, staff and other stakeholders, including organisations, community and voluntary groups, and members of the public.

If you have any questions or comments regarding our British Sign Language (BSL) please contact Nancy Clifford (Educational Support Manager):

  • Direct Dial: 01698 232328
  • Email:

New College Lanarkshire (Motherwell Campus),

1 Enterprise Way,



British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact us via Contact Scotland BSL

The BSL version of this plan is available on the College website, where you can also leave feedback.

* Wherever we refer to ‘BSL users*’ we mean D/deaf and/or Deafblind people (those who receive the language in a tactile form due to sight loss) whose first or preferred language is British Sign Language.