The Functional Skills Newsletter for October 15th
Lots of news about support for Functional Skills this week, we've done our best to summarise the key parts but suffice to say that the Government sees Functional Skills as the key complimentary qualification in English and maths to GCSE. Sure, there's work to do to refresh and update Functional Skills, but we think this is a great opportunity and we fully support it at Guroo.
Have your say in the 2014 Annual Survey - there is a free text question at the end where you can add your comments and thoughts and apart from the initial 4 "demographic" questions, there are none you have to answer, we make a contribution to your choice of charity and you can personally win a new tablet if you leave us your name and email address. Click here to contribute.
As well as Government support and surveys, there's also a very busy events and conference season, we have details of all the key events below.
As always, we aim to send this newsletter out every two weeks, your comments and thoughts are always appreciated - let us know what you'd like us to cover in the newsletter by emailing the editor - email@example.com
Government Support for Functional Skills
The Government has always maintained it has supported Functional Skills, but reality, mostly emanating from DfE under Gove, was that GCSE was heavily promoted by DfE and BIS had to fall in behind - until now. Nick Boles, the new Minister of State for Skills for both DfE and DBIS has provided clear, unambiguous support for Functional Skills. FE Week has had some great coverage recently starting with the first announcement at the Conservative Party conference.
This has been followed up a week later with a letter from the Minister to Ofqual in which he said “Functional Skills will continue to be one of the types of qualification that learners have available to them as they progress towards GCSE attainment. For students that are not able to achieve a GCSE they must provide a reliable test of their literacy and numeracy skills."
Roger Francis, well respected commentator on issues about maths and English in the sector, then put forward his views in another FE week piece - and very sound views they are too.
And in the same week, we then had a call from those involved in the early years qualifications that Functional Skills should be re-called. It was the announcement by Gove about this qualification requiring GCSE passes on entry that started speculation.
Have your say. The annual survey is also running now and the last question is a free text question where you can have your your say - simply click here to take part.
Events, exhibitions and conferences
The autumn is always a busy time of the year with lots of events on, here are just a few that Guroo are involved in.
Developing skills to deliver English, maths and ESOL - organised by EMSkills and located in Derby on October 23rd. Always popular and informative, with good support from all suppliers and a range of expert speakers. Jonathan Wells of Guroo is chairing this event.
Meeting new standards in teaching, learning and assessment - organised by Optimus education, located in Birmingham on 27th November.
Apprenticeships4England, a major event and one not be missed is in London on March 3/4 and open for bookings now. Guroo is a key supporter and sponsor of this event and the headline speaker is of course Nick Boles, Minister for Skills.
The AELP Autumn Conference including a key theme of English and maths changes in employment and skills programmes - 15th October in Birmingham and Guroo is on stand 8.
Please complete the 2014 Functional Skills Annual Survey
It's the fourth year of this important survey, around 20 questions, about 15 minutes of your time, and apart from the first few demographic questions, none of them are "must complete". So you can take your time, skip the ones you don't know about, but get your opinion in on the ones you do. The results are published widely, we know they influence policy so have your say now!The survey is completely confidential, you do not need to leave your name, but if you do, you could win a new Galaxy Tab 3 and every participant can nominate one of four charities to receive a donation. Please take a few minutes to contribute.