Consultation outcome

Reforming functional skills qualifications in English and maths

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Decisions on Functional Skills Qualification reform – English and mathematics

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Reforming Functional Skills: Regulatory impact assessment

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Detail of outcome

We have made the following decisions:

  1. All new functional skills qualifications (FSQ) must follow the subject content published by the Department for Education.

  2. We will specify both minimum and maximum overall assessment times.

  3. We will set rules on the number of assessments in new FSQs in English and mathematics.

  4. At Levels 1 and 2 all assessments in mathematics, and the reading and writing assessments in English must be set and marked by awarding organisations.

  5. At the entry levels all assessments in mathematics, and the reading and writing assessments in English:

    • must be set by awarding organisations
    • may be contextualised by centres
    • may be marked either by the awarding organisation, or by the centre, or through a combination of the two
  6. For speaking, listening and communicating at all levels, the assessments may be set and marked by the awarding organisation or by the centre, or through a combination of the two; but where a centre sets any assessment, the awarding organisation must have specified parameters for the assessment that ensure the assessment is fit for purpose and meets all the requirements specified.

  7. We will not put in place any restrictions on assessment availability.

  8. All new FSQs must use a Pass or Fail grading model.

  9. Learners must continue to pass all three content areas (reading, writing, and speaking, listening and communicating) to achieve an overall ‘Pass’ in the qualification.

  10. We will set weighting ranges for spelling, punctuation and grammar within the writing component.

  11. There will be no access to spelling and grammar checks in the writing component.

  12. We will set level-based common criteria for assessing speaking, listening and communicating.

  13. We will require awarding organisations to provide centres with guidance around the conduct and assessment of speaking, listening and communicating.

  14. We will set detailed monitoring requirements around the speaking, listening and communicating component.

  15. At the entry levels we shall set rules and guidance around the assessment of the reading and spelling of words and types of words as set out in the subject content.

  16. We will introduce weightings for calculator-based and non-calculator based assessment.

  17. We will introduce weightings for the assessment of underpinning skills and problem solving.

  18. The weightings we set will place a greater emphasis on problem solving in assessments than on underpinning skills.

  19. We will set rules (but not weightings) around the coverage of subject content.

  20. We will require decisions on setting specified levels of attainment in new functional skills qualifications to be based on an appropriate range of qualitative and quantitative evidence.

  21. We will ensure initial standards are set appropriately for the first award.

  22. We will put in place enhanced scrutiny of qualification outcomes over time.

  23. All awarding organisations will produce an assessment strategy document that explains their overall approach to assessment for new FSQs.

  24. We will set rules around what assessment strategies must include.

  25. There should be a transition period between the current and new FSQs which should take place as soon as reasonably practicable, but in a way that ensures, as far as possible, that learners are not disadvantaged by the arrangements.

  26. There should be a maximum 12 month overlap period between the current and new FSQs.

Feedback received

Analysis of responses to our consultation on Functional Skills Qualification reform – English and mathematics

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Detail of feedback received

There were 100 responses to the consultation. Of these responses 98 were in a form that matched or broadly followed the layout of the online consultation. Two responses were written submissions which were not included in the quantitative data analysis, but were considered within the qualitative sections. 60% of the responses were from individuals, mostly from teachers, while 40% were from organisations.

Original consultation

Summary

A consultation on our approach to regulating reformed functional skills qualifications in English and maths.

This consultation ran from
to

Consultation description

This consultation is about our approach to regulating reformed functional skills qualifications in English and maths. These new qualifications will be taught in schools in England from September 2019.

The Department for Education is consulting on proposed content for these qualifications.

Documents

Consultation on Functional Skills Qualification Reform – English and Mathematics

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Letter to Sally Collier, Chief Regulator, from Anne Milton, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills and Minister for Women

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Published 12 September 2017
Last updated 28 March 2018 + show all updates
  1. Added consultation feedback and analysis documents.
  2. First published.