Today, 14 January 2016, the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) launches its consultation to review maths and English Functional Skills qualifications. The review was commissioned by the Skills Minister Nick Boles with the aim of proposing new qualifications better suited to the needs of industry, practitioners and learners in post-16 education.
The consultation runs until 7 April 2016 and will be carried out by Pye Tait consulting in partnership with Learning and Work Institute, with an independent evaluation by ICF Consulting Services.
We intend to present a report to Ministers by the end of August 2016 with a view to reformed qualifications being ready to teach by September 2018.
David Russell, ETF Chief Executive, said: “The Education and Training Foundation is delighted to be leading this important piece of work. Many employers have concerns about the standards of maths and English of prospective employees. However, of those employers that have first-hand experience of Functional Skills, 87 per cent found them to be a useful qualification.
“GCSE is the principal qualification in England for maths and English, and will remain so. Many adults – young and older – who have struggled with these subjects at school benefit from being taught Functional Skills because they see clearly how they will benefit them in life and work.
“We are seeking the views of teachers and trainers, employers and their representatives to ensure that our proposals to Ministers are as widely and soundly based as possible. The aim is then to help learners achieve a recognised qualification that provides them with the skills they need to support them in gaining employment and with everyday life.”
The ETF’s review, ‘Making maths and English work for all’, published in March 2015, found that Functional Skills were “not broken”, but that work could be done to improve their relevance and content, as well as improve their recognition and credibility in the labour market. 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.
You can also read Sue Southwood’s blog on the Functional Skills Reform Programme.
Further information about consultation
Making Maths and English Work for all – Key findings
From January to March 2015 we undertook a major review of employer views of qualifications in maths and English. This is the first major study of its kind; 1400 employers, learners and training organisations took part.
There are three interrelated themes that figure strongly in this review:
James Goode, Press & PR Officer, Education and Training Foundation
James.Goode@etfoundation.co.uk | 020 3740 8280