Functional Skills Reforms 2018-10-04T10:31:29+00:00

Reformed Functional Skills Standards

The reformed Functional Skills will come into force in September 2019, with a transitional period of one year. bksb will be creating new Functional Skills courses written to the standards and these will be ready for September 2019.

There are considerable changes to the content, with new content being added and some content being removed. Some of the content has moved levels and elements of GCSE have been added.

The levels will change with the reform: Level 1 will be more like a Level 1½ and Level 2 will be more like a Level 2½. The following table shows how the levels are aligned with the national curriculum key stages:

The new assessments are still to be finalised, but it is understood that there is to be more parity between the awarding bodies and less awarding bodies offering the qualifications.

The maths assessment will cover 3 separate content areas.

The assessment could take the form of 1 paper with 2 sections or 2 assessments.

The assessment is allocated to questions or tasks that must be completed with or without a calculator.

Another change to the maths assessment is the length of time it takes to complete. Currently, levels 1 and 2 are around 1 hour and 30 mins minimum and 2 hours max, whilst at Entry levels the minimum amount for completion is an hour and the maximum is 1 hour 30 mins. The proposed times are 1 hour 45 mins – 2 hours 30 mins for levels 1 and 2, and 1 hour 15 mins – 1 hour 45 mins for Entry levels.

The English assessment will need students to take all 3 elements at the same level.

There will be an increased weighting of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar in the writing assessment, with access to spelling and grammar checks prohibited. Entry levels 1-3 will include phonics, word lists for reading and spelling, and a spelling task that samples 10 words from the relevant word list.

Speaking, listening and communicating assessments will be scrutinised annually, with the centre’s processes and control being reviewed every three years.

The current amount of time it takes to complete an English assessment at levels 1 and 2 is 2 hours minimum and 3 hours maximum, and at Entry levels the current time is 1 hour minimum and 2 hours maximum. It is proposed that times for levels 1 and 2 will remain the same, whilst at entry levels the proposed times are 1 hr 30 mins minimum and 2 hours maximum.