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Is functional skills level 2 equivelent to GCSE?

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by Teacher-in-Training42, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Teacher-in-Training42

    Teacher-in-Training42 New commenter

    I'm wondering because in the class I'm covering the individual student profiles vary from entry level 3 to level 2...seems like a big jump for one class. so I have to differentiate a lot if that is the case...
  2. blueskiesmev

    blueskiesmev New commenter

    They are not equivalent as they are different qualifications examining different things but they are at the same level.

    GCSE grades 4 - 9 (old C - A*) are level 2 qualifications.
    GCSE grades 1 - 3 (old G - D) are level 1 qualifications.

    The entry level qualifications sit below these.

    Functional Skills level 2 has easier maths than GCSE but the questions are written in a more confusing way in an attempt to encourage problem solving in 'real life' contexts.

    Anyway, a class of mixed E3 to L2 is a big difference and will require a lot of differentiation.
  3. Flanks

    Flanks Senior commenter

    Functional Skills Level 2 maths is an absolute dog of a paper. We stopped teaching it because we found that students had a better chance at GCSE. The English is fine, and Maths up to Level 1 is fine, but the level 2 is an utter waste of time in my opinion.

    The issue with functional skills in FE, is that it tends to be delivered to students who had below Grade D. So immediately, we are catching students who have literacy difficulties and probably a far higher proportion of students with specific learning needs. So what do we do? Give them a maths paper, in language they are unfamiliar with, which requires significantly higher reading and inference skills than GCSE Maths! Such a utterly stupid exam, needs to be reformed extremely heavily before it even approaches being useful.

    With recent reforms making GCSE Grade C a requirement, I would say FS Level 2 is more accurately described as a Grade D equivalent, because passing it wont allow the student to stop taking maths.
  4. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    FS2 = 1/2 a GCSE.
    Most of our students failed FS2 English and Maths. Those that passed FS2 usually failed GCSE when they tackled it the following year. Therefore, SLT decided to enter all students who passed FS1 into GCSEs instead, which are significantly harder. Then they really struggled and failed GCSE big time. But at least it was good for the college funding meaning that SLT could have a pay rise. On the other hand, our achievement figures plummeted and it was all the teachers' fault.
    The academic ability of an FS student is roughly that of a 10-12 year old. I was informed of this by a behavioural expert. Therefore you can expect immature behaviour in your classes.
    I would split these students into different groups and give them totally different work related to the same topic. Maybe spend the first part of the lesson doing something which they will all need to know - tables, Spag, whatever, then give them their group work. Sparkle boxes could be good for this. As students become proficient at all the work in a sparkle box they can then move up to the next box.
  5. gogogulliver

    gogogulliver New commenter

    Functional Skills are awards, GCSEs are certificates. They're technically at the same level at L2 but the GCSE covers a broader scope.

    The L2 maths is a ballache. The L2 English writing paper is probably on par with the writing part of GCSE, just shorter. The reading is very different, though.
    damia69 likes this.
  6. AngelEd22

    AngelEd22 New commenter

    Functional Skills Level 2 and GCSE are both Level 2 qualifications. However in a college I worked at, students who passed Functional Skills Level 2 were then entered for GCSE as GCSEs are more valued by employers and universities.
  7. saluki

    saluki Lead commenter

    Not to mention that the government decrees that they must study GCSE in order for the college to receive funding for their vocational course.
    I think the designated hours of study for GCSE and FS also says something about the weighting of the awards.
  8. khanfaheem466

    khanfaheem466 New commenter

    Is gcse grade 2 and 3 is equivalent to functional skill level 1
  9. khanfaheem466

    khanfaheem466 New commenter

    Is gcse grade 2 and 3 are equivalent to functional skill level 1
  10. gogogulliver

    gogogulliver New commenter

    I would say GCSE grade 2 is probably about the same as FS L1. L2 is good prep for higher GCSE grades for students who take the long way round.
  11. Robfreeman

    Robfreeman Occasional commenter

    cys2017 likes this.
  12. mathsman

    mathsman Occasional commenter

    It may technically be the same but it is never viewed as being the same
  13. Higgie

    Higgie New commenter

    The new T levels are suggesting that L2 fs will be allowed instead of GCSE in maths. Will this mean a change in the resit rules???
  14. mollfinn

    mollfinn New commenter

    Does functional skills level 2 have a recognition overseas in the same way GCSE OR IGCSE does ? Thanks

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