Following on from The Department of Education’s proposed subject content for English and maths Functional Skills, Ofqual have published a consultation for new Functional Skills qualifications in English and mathematics. These will be introduced in September 2019.
Ofqual are proposing to set out rules which will require the design, set, delivery and marking of all assessments for the new Functional Skills qualifications to be in line with their assessment strategy. Awarding organisations will be required to ensure their assessment strategy will comply with all of the rules that apply to the new Functional Skills qualifications. This is in order to ensure that the new Functional Skills qualifications are developed in line with the curriculum intentions set by the Department for Education.
The consultation outlines the expectations around how awarding organisations should approach the interpretation of the subject content. The English-specific guidance clarifies how awarding organisations should approach terms like ‘for example’ and ‘including’ where these are used in subject content and the ‘scope of study’ statements in subject content should be reflected in assessments. The mathematics-specific guidance clarifies how awarding organisations should approach problem solving. Wherever a question or task underpinning skills is presented in a context, an awarding organisation should ensure that the context does not undermine the targeting of relevant skills.
In terms of grading, the rules for the new Functional Skills qualification in English and maths must use a Pass/Fail grading model. Learners who do not achieve a Pass must still receive results and these results should be reported consistently across all new qualifications.
The transitional arrangements that have been proposed are a 12 month overlap period between the current and new Functional Skills qualifications, the transition period will need to take place as soon as possible, but with the assurance that learners are not disadvantaged by the arrangements.
For an in-depth reading of the proposed subject-specific features in English and mathematics please follow the link below, as well as for more information on the proposed rules and guidance.