Friday, 5 December 2014

The latest on Functional Skills Dec 14

What's happening with Functional Skills?
Looking at Nick Boles' latest AoC speech gives us the best clue.  
"Those who lack a basic mastery of English and Maths lack the means to navigate successfully through the modern world.
I do understand however that it is not practical or fair to impose the same requirements (as those on full time courses) on students taking courses of less than 150 hours – who are often young carers with a lot on their plates already. While we expect them to receive English and Maths tuition as part of their course, we will be waiving the requirement for them to study for standalone qualifications.
Where I have found your arguments more persuasive is in relation to those students who have not secured D grades in English and Maths GCSEs – and who are unlikely to be retaking their GCSEs while they are at college. I believe it is vitally important that we offer them alternative qualifications that are high quality, consistent, understood by parents, and respected by employers. As you know, Ofqual is undertaking a review of functional skills qualifications and I eagerly await their findings.
The DfE briefing note confirms this by posing the question "Will functional skills be scrapped?"
"No, Functional Skills qualifications will continue to be available for 16-19 students as a ‘stepping stone’ to GCSEs, in apprenticeships and for adults.
Ofqual is currently reviewing Level 2 English and maths functional skills qualifications, and will recommend action to improve these qualifications. This is likely to lead to changes to some Functional Skills qualifications in the short to medium term. Awarding organisations will work with their centres to communicate and explain these changes and what they mean for teachers and students."
So Functional Skills are being reviewed by Ofqual to ensure quality, rigour, understanding, consistency and respect. 

No comments: