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Whatever happened to functional skills? (English)

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by abaine2, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. abaine2

    abaine2 New commenter

    I heard it was dead in the water; is this true or does a H.O.D. still have to make provisions..?
  2. Not dead in the water - well not yet anyway! It depends on the college Skills Policy as to how provision is organised I guess. You would need to find out. Ours is centrally organised but yours might be in individual departments.
  3. abaine2

    abaine2 New commenter

    Thanks. I work at an Academy and no one's mentioned it, I've got enough on my plate marrying conventional exams with a radical (but potentially excellent) 'steps' curriculum; If I could crack on without FS, it would certainly suit me...

    Thanks for the response.
  4. Vivmillion

    Vivmillion New commenter

    The college I work at has left it up to the vocational heads of school to choose to deliver either GCSE for those with grade D or Functional English at an appropriate level for those with no GCSE.
    Makes sense when you think most students will come to FE with 2 years of study for the GCSE under their belts and I think most of my students would see the option of re-taking GCSE as more sensible.
    Does anyone know if there is any recent research on the views of employers on functional English? I know a couple of students who said that they had been met wit blank looks when they said they had Functional english at Level 1/2
  5. There' s nothing dead about Functional Skills, nor is there any signs it is dying. Indeed the opposite, it is fast growing and is the qualification of choice for Employers.
    Evidence? I have a letter from John Hayes (Minister in BIS) that says;
    "We are committed to phasing out Key Skills by September 2012 at the latest. All apprentices will then study either Functional Skills or GCSE qualifications in English and maths and where appropriate ICT."
    Functional Skills is also part of the new 2010 GCSE maths and English with the majority of students taking exams in May 2012. And it's a must do part of Foundation Learning as well.
    Professor Wolf all but killed off Key Skills and ALAN (for 14-19 year olds) by saying they lacked progression and were unfit for purpose and the Government accepted her recommendations.
    So whilst we're expecting to see some tweeks to Functional Skills, it isn't going anywhere!

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