Functional Skills requirements for Level 2 Apprenticeships
The ESFA have announced that the current temporary flexibility that suspends the funding rule requiring level 2 apprentices to study towards and take a functional skills assessment at level 2 has been extended until the 31st July 2021.
A level 2 apprentice will still require a level 1 in English and maths to complete their apprenticeship. The temporary suspension applies to both apprenticeship standards and frameworks.
For more information please read this ESFA update.
We will also communicate separately to our Apprenticeship contacts with further information tomorrow.
Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs)
Skillsfirst has been working closely with The Federation of Awarding Bodies (FAB) Functional Skills Group to agree on a common approach to Teacher Assessed Grades (TAGs), following the policy position set out by the Department for Education.
The Group has produced a paper that outlines the approach to TAGs for all Functional Skills subjects (both Legacy and Reformed). This is a FAB document, agreed across all Functional Skills awarding organisations (AOs). We are sharing this for transparency to show how the AOs share common underpinning principles in relation to Functional Skills TAGs.
Skillsfirst will issue centre guidance, including details of processes and timescales for TAGs, later this week.
Functional Skills proctoring (remote invigilation)
Skillsfirst’s proctoring (remote invigilation) solution has enabled more than 1k learners to complete their Functional Skills exams.
The offer includes:
• Level 1 or 2 Maths and English exams invigilated by independent Skillsfirst invigilators
• Flexible booking times
• Invigilation fees £25 per exam
• Results in 6-10 working days
• PDF versions of certificates
If you are interested in offering this solution to your learners and want to find out more, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note, centres are not permitted to carry out remote invigilation themselves using software such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Skype. All remote invigilation must be conducted using Skillsfirst’s proctoring service.
Legacy Functional Skills English and Maths Levels 1 and 2 (FSE01, FSE02, FSM01, FSM02)
Final assessment and certification dates
We would like to take this opportunity to remind customers that the final date for legacy Functional Skills English and Maths Level 1 and 2 onscreen assessments is Friday 28th May 2021.
Please note, learners have a maximum of four opportunities to take onscreen exams during the period 1st August 2020 – 28th May 2021 (this does not include any failed attempts prior to these dates). If learners fail the exam after the fourth attempt, the centre will be required to transfer the learner to the relevant Reformed Functional Skills qualification.
Speaking, Listening and Communication (SLC) assessments for legacy Functional Skills English Level 1 and 2 must be completed and submitted to Skillsfirst no later than Friday 28th May 2021.
We strongly recommend that customers submit results to Skillsfirst for those SLC assessments which have already taken place on an ongoing basis, rather than waiting for learners to pass the Reading and Writing components. If you do not have direct claim status, please ensure you contact Skillsfirst to arrange a remote monitoring activity for the SLC component.
As previously advised, we do not plan to offer paper-based assessment opportunities for these qualifications but will continue to accept reasonable adjustment requests on a case-by-case basis.
If learners have not achieved a pass for Functional Skills Maths Level 1 or 2, or all three components of Functional Skills English Level 1 or 2 by Friday 28th May 2021, they will need to be registered on the relevant Reformed Functional Skills qualification.
The final certification date is 28th July 2021.
Please ensure that anyone involved in the delivery of legacy Functional Skills English and Maths is aware of these timescales, including assessors, tutors, invigilators and administrators.
Functional Skills ICT Levels 1 and 2 (FSI01, FSI02)
Final assessment and certification dates
The final date for onscreen Functional Skills ICT Levels 1 and 2 exams is Friday 3rd December 2021.
Please note, learners have a maximum of four opportunities to take onscreen exams during the period 1st August 2020 – 3rd December 2021 (this does not include any failed attempts prior to these dates).
As previously advised, due to a significant decrease in demand, we no longer offer paper-based assessments for these qualifications but will consider reasonable adjustments on a case-by-case basis.
The final certification date for these qualifications is 15th December 2021.
Please ensure anyone involved in the delivery of ICT Functional Skills is aware of these timescales, including assessors, tutors, invigilators and administrators.