Education and Training Foundation to review post-16 Functional Skills

National Numeracy welcome a move to review and strengthen Functional Skills in Maths and English. The Skills Minister Nick Boles has commissioned the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) to carry out a review of the best way to achieve and accredit Maths and English in post-16 education outside of GCSEs. He has said that Functional Skills should continue to be the main alternative Maths and English qualifications but that to be well-respected and credible, they must suit employers’ needs and be properly taught and assessed.  

This follows a report from the ETF which showed that nearly half of employers recognised Functional Skills qualifications, but three-quarters believed action was needed to improve practical maths and English skills.   

National Numeracy has long argued for a respected alternative to GCSE maths, which we do not believe necessarily provides the best grounding in the everyday maths skills that all young people need for work and life. We propose that our Essentials of Numeracy informs the development of the revised Functional Skulls qualifications.