P-05-909 Promoting the use of Makaton sign language in all Welsh schools



This petition was submitted by Isabella Evans having collected 4,914 signatures online and 110 on paper, a total of 5,024 signatures


Text of Petition             

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.


Additional Information

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)


A Petition Handover



This petition was considered completed by the Petitions Committee at its meeting on 10/03/2020.


In light of the responses received from the Minister for Education, particularly in relation to the flexibility and school-led nature of the new curriculum, the Committee agreed that there is little further that it could achieve at this time. Members agreed to close the petition and wished to congratulate the petitioner on the example she sets in promoting Makaton to support children with communication difficulties and to encourage her to continue to raise the proposal, including with local schools.


Full details of the consideration of this petition by the Committee and related documents can be seen on the Meetings tab above.

It was first considered by the Petitions Committee on 19/11/2019.



Assembly Constituency and Region

  • Bridgend
  • South Wales Central


Further information

Business type: Petition

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 06/11/2019