Monday, 3 June 2013

June 4th - the Functional Skills newsletter

June 4th - the Functional Skills newsletter
This week we have news of research into Functional Skills Initial Assessment based on independent research of the results of more than 700 learners by a large FE College.  The paper covers the research itself, the analysis and data, the implications and how the research has influenced how initial assessment has been developments.
We also have a news report about how Ofsted is looking to extend the focus on progression that we're already seen coming through in post 16 education into performance league tables.
And with less than two weeks to the "All Things Functional" conference and exhibition in Birmingham, we're got updated news on speakers and highlights of the show including the first public view of the brand new Exam Practice routines on Guroo's stand.
Plus we have updated news of events and links to all the webinar recordings - now the most popular method of viewing our webinars.
As always, your comments and thoughts are appreciated - let us know what you'd like us to cover in the newsletter by emailing the editor -

Initial Assessment white paper by Jonathan Wells
Our first piece about initial assessment also links very well to the second piece about Ofsted, reflecting the very distinct move towards progression as a key measure.
And crucially, being able to measure progression accurately means getting the initial start point correct.  Further, an initial assessment that is "too easy" or "not functional" could mean that learners are placed on a course that is simply too high level as Ofsted expect learners to be stretched and challenged so a learner with a bare or marginal pass at E3 will be expected to take a level 1 course, often resulting in early failure or the learner leaving the course.
The white paper has sections on the research itself, the analysis and data, the implications of getting an accurate initial assessment and how the research has influenced initial assessment system developments.  
If you'd like a copy of the white paper, simply email and we'll send you a copy by the end of the week.

Ofqual wants focus on progression in new league tables

Although this article is essentially a schools based article, it is interesting to see how Ofsted are moving much more towards using the quality of teaching and learning as the key factor in judging institutions. Part of the consultation paper states:
"The progress measure will be calculated using a value-added method, using end of key stage 2 results in English and maths as a baseline. The average of all pupils’ scores in these eight qualifications will be published in the tables.
Alongside this, the tables will feature a threshold measure showing the percentage of pupils achieving A* to C in English and maths."
The consultation over the proposals closed on May 1, and the DfE has said that while the changes are intended to be implemented in 2015 or 2016 alongside GCSE reform, “many proposals could be put in place earlier”.

All Things Functional and Apprentices 4 England events
A reminder that Guroo, along with other leading suppliers, will be attending the "All Things Functional" event in Birmingham on June 14th organised again by EMSKills.  The last one was great, the workshops for this one look great too.  
Speakers include David Hughes of NIACE, Chris Starling from Virgin, David Sangster from SFA, Karen Ticehurst from LearnDirect/JHP and Liz Waters from LSIS.  We understand Jayne Holt (Assistant Principal at Walsall College) will also be speaking about Ofsted inspection and how to get an "Outstanding Grade".
Apprenticeships 4 England have organised a funding conference to be held on 5th June in Coventry.  More information here. 
Guroo will be in attendance at both events. Visitors at the All Things Functional event will also get a sneak preview of Guroo brand new Exam Practice.
Wednesday Webinar at 4.00pm
"ICT Functional Skills" - more and more, we find ICT is an important element in Functional Skills.  Guroo have recently upgraded the ICT IA, produced paper based Level Checker/Screeners for ICT and under development, we have ICT Exam Practice and tutorial videos. Cathy Vaissieres will be this weeks webinar presenter.
"ICT Functional Skills" is aimed at both customers and those thinking of becoming customers. As always we find that many more people enjoy coming back for the recording afterwards, but if you'd like to be live, just drop an email to
Join us on Wednesday at 4pm.
All previous webinars are recorded and available anytime for playback - login as a guest and the password is password.  Simply click on the links below and don’t forget, if you’d like to have your own 1:1 webinar looking at how Guroo can help you support Functional Skills, just call us on 0191 305 5045 or email and we’ll take it from there.
Guroo group and user admin

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