Providers' views sought on Functional Skills

The latest stage of the Functional Skills Reform Programme starts today – Wednesday 18 May – with the opening of the Provider Survey. This survey is for teachers, trainers, leaders and managers to share their opinions on the future of Functional Skills.

The government wants to ensure everyone has an appropriate opportunity to improve their maths and English skills and achieve a credible qualification that employers recognise.  Although Functional Skills standards and qualifications were introduced in 2010/2011 and were regarded as ‘effective’ by many employers, providers and learners, a number of potential weaknesses were highlighted by the Education and Training Foundation’s research ‘Making maths and English work for all’.

This research, published last year, found that work was needed to improve the relevance, content, recognition and credibility of Functional Skills – particularly with employers. Consultation with employers has already started on reforming Functional Skills. Over 500 employers of all sizes have begun to share their views. These include Argos, Arriva Trains, Barclays, Barnado’s, Chubb Fire and Security and several NHS Trusts.

The opinions and views of those working in education are just as important as employers’. The feedback provided through this survey will help ensure that Functional Skills qualifications are fit for purpose across a wide variety of settings in which they are taught, including:

  • Adult and community learning
  • Further Education
  • Offender learning
  • Private training and learning
  • Work-based and union learning

It is essential that we hear from those working in these – and other sectors. Your opinions and experiences will be invaluable in helping to support innovative and dynamic forms of delivery, leading to better outcomes for learners by giving them the skills and confidence to thrive in learning, in work and in life.

This survey will also provide crucial information for the Foundation to devise a CPD programme to support teachers and trainers.

A summary of the Functional Skills Reform Programme, being led on behalf of BIS and DfE, is available and further information is detailed at the consultation website.  A full set of questions and answers related to this reform, from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, are also available.

For more information please contact:

Ed Melia, or call: 07843 38 44 50.


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