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Completed petition Promoting the use of Makaton sign language in all Welsh schools

We call on the Welsh Government to consider the use of Makaton sign language in all Welsh schools.

I am the 13 year old sister of a little boy with Downs Syndrome who's primary use of communication is Makaton sign language. I have taught myself Makaton sign language for the purpose of communicating with my brother and as a result have set up social media platforms to help other people in similar situations learn. I was surprised how much demand there is for people who want to be taught Makaton in order to communicate with friends and family who have learning difficulties.

I believe it should be included in all schools in Wales alongside the everyday teaching to give every child the ability to learn to communicate via this method.

I am passionate to achieve this and believe it is the fundamental right for all children in Wales to be taught Makaton in order to break down barriers, misconceptions and achieve true inclusion within Wales.

More details

A vast amount of research has been conducted to test the effectiveness of using symbols and signs to help people develop language and literacy skills.

Current research findings support the use of sign language with adults and children who have intellectual and communication handicaps.

There is also a study exploring the extent of learning sign language alongside a foreign language in modern foreign languages lessons support oral vocabulary retention in foreign languages.

Many research papers have been published supporting the use of Makaton including:-

  • Birket, E.M. (1984)
  • Colema, A. (2014)
  • Cornforth, A.R.T., Johnson, K. Walker, M. (1974)
  • Ford, J. (2006)
  • Francis. (2000)
  • Grove, N. (1980)
  • Powell, G. (1999)
  • Reed, A. (2014)
  • Sheehy, K. Duffy, H. (2009)
  • Volpato, D. ,Orton, D. and Blackburn, D. (1986)
  • Walker, M. Armfield, A. (1981)

This petition was considered by the Petitions Committee

Find out about the Petitions Committee’s discussion of this petition

5,024 signatures


The Petitions Committee decided not to refer this petition for a debate

The Committee considered a range of evidence and decided not to schedule the petition for debate in the Senedd in light of the intended flexibility and school-led nature of the new Curriculum for Wales, which led it to conclude that there was little further that could be achieved.