Reformed Functional Skills will be introduced in September 2019. The Department for Education is currently seeking views on proposed subject content for reformed Functional Skills in English and mathematics. Establishing the content of these reformed qualifications is a critical part of improving Functional Skills so that they can meet the needs of students and employers. The consultation is open until 7 November 2017. Ofqual have also launched a policy consultation about the approach to regulating reformed Functional Skills qualifications in maths and English which is open until 22 November 2017.
ETF will continue to support the Functional Skills Reform Programme, undertaking work to prepare the teaching workforce. The qualification landscape is complex – with several hundred qualifications available and changes to terminology over the years. GCSE is a well-known qualification with an established brand. However, our consultation showed that employers’ primary focus was the need for young people and adults with good practical maths and English skills, regardless of the specific qualification taken. Almost half of employers surveyed now recognise Functional Skills qualifications, but three quarters of employers consulted also believe action is needed to improve practical maths and English skills.
Once the subject content is approved, we aim to revise the Pre-entry Curriculum Framework. We are currently developing exemplar teaching resources and training to support teachers and a new module for initial teacher training.
Reports from the first phase of the reform programme consultation are available to download. These include: