Updates

Please check back for the latest project updates.

08/09/2017: The Exemplar Curricula materials are based on the revised draft subject content for Functional Skills which is currently part of a further consultation process – led by DfE and Ofqual. Once the subject content is approved and agreed, ETF will make any necessary changes and publish the materials on the Excellence Gateway. ETF is developing CPD to support these materials and will run pilots in the autumn. Final materials will be publicly available, supported by a range of CPD, in early 2018.

23/03/2017: The latest news on the Reform Programme is available from the Education and Training Foundation here. Please note that the consultation website referenced in the article is this website.

24/02/2017: The Exemplar Curricula review period has now closed. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this process – your time and valuable contributions are much appreciated. We are now reviewing the feedback and we will be working with our writers over the coming weeks in order to finalise the materials. We will continue to keep portal registrants updated of progress.

30/01/2017: The draft Exemplar Curricula were made available for review in the secure area of the FS Reform portal on Friday 27/01. Reviewers have until Friday 24th February to feed back. If you wish to register to review the material, please visit our Contact Us page. Please note this is an unpaid activity.

17/01/2017: The first drafts of the Functional Skills Exemplar Curricula have been submitted to the Foundation. We are now working with reviewers to check and refine the draft activities developed by our subject expert writers. Drafts of the materials will be available on a secure area of the portal, supported by four consultation events. If you would like to contribute to the review process, please visit our Contact Us page.

02/11/2016: The final drafts of the Subject Content and Standards on both subjects were submitted to the Foundation to meet their deadline. We are now finalising our report on the process. The Foundation produced a short report with recommendations which was submitted to the minister. We will provide another update regarding when and where our report will be published – probably on our website – in due course. For information, we have been separately commissioned by the Foundation, following a tendering process, to develop exemplar curricula aimed at teachers on Functional Skills and we are starting that work shortly with recruited writers.

19/09/2016: Click HERE to read the learner report.

12/09/2016: The consultation on the draft Subject Content for maths and English Functional Skills qualifications is now closed. Thank you to everyone who provided their views. We are now analysing your feedback and will be making will revisions to the Subject Content documents.

19/08/2016: The consultation on the second version of the draft national Standards for literacy and numeracy has now closed. Thank you to everyone who provided their views. We are now analysing your feedback.

15/08/2016: Draft subject content for maths and English Functional Skills qualifications has been published today HERE and will be available for comment and feedback until Monday 12th September. While this will mostly be of interest to awarding organisations, the Foundation also expects that it will help students, teachers and employers gain a clear idea of the purpose, aims, outcomes and content of for maths and English Functional Skills.

05/08/2016: The second draft national Standards for literacy and numeracy are now available for your views and feedback (5th-19th August). Please click HERE to find out more and tell us what you think. Once finalised, these Standards will define the range of numeracy skills and capabilities that people need to function and progress in life, learning and work. Please note, these Standards are separate to the subject content for Functional Skills qualifications in maths and English (which are currently in development).

29/07/2016: Please note the changes to the dates below (25/07/2016 update). Due to a particularly large response to the consultation on the first draft, and to allow time for proper consideration of that feedback – a second draft of the Standards will now be published on Friday 5th August. This second draft will be available for further consideration and feedback until Friday 19th August. A final version will be available in autumn.

25/07/2016: The consultation on the first draft Standards is now closed and we would like to thank everyone who provided their views. We are now analysing feedback and developing the second draft of the Standards. There will be an opportunity to provide your views on the second draft between 5th and 19th August, following which the documents will be finalised. We will write to all those who registered interest on our website when these are available for comment.

18/07/2016: The findings report following the survey of providers and practitioners is now available to view and download by clicking HERE. Thank you once again to everyone who took part.

04/07/2016: The draft national Standards for literacy and numeracy are now available for your views and feedback (4th-25th July). Please click HERE to find out more and tell us what you think. Once finalised, these Standards will define the range of numeracy skills and capabilities that people need to function and progress in life, learning and work. They will form the basis for adult qualifications involving mathematical and English skills, of which Functional Skills are one example. Please note, these Standards are separate to the subject content for Functional Skills qualifications in maths and English (which are currently in development). [Update: This survey is now closed]

24/06/2016: The practitioner/provider survey is now closed. We had a really great response and would like to thank everyone who provided their views. We are now analysing the results and continuing work to draft the National Standards for numeracy and literacy. There will be an opportunity to provide your views and feedback on these documents from 4th July 2016.

18/05/2016: The practitioner/provider survey is now open until 24th June. Click HERE.

18/05/2016: New report published: Findings from the Employer Survey  (May 2016). [Update: This survey is now closed]

17/05/2016: Since the closure of the employer survey on 7th April, Pye Tait Consulting has been leading on the next stages of the research and development activities, notably:

• Drafting high level Standards, liaising with subject experts and meeting with Awarding Organisations;
• Meeting with the Functional Skills Reform Programme’s Expert Advisory Group;
• Holding a workshop with subject experts to discuss a broad outline of Subject Content;
• Discussions with BIS/Ofqual to gain feedback on Subject Content and emerging findings from the first consultation;
• Holding meetings with the Working Group; and
• Preparing the second consultation – the practitioner/provider survey.

29/04/2016: A further survey to follow up with the education and training sector will be opening on 18th May, running until 24th June.

21/04/2016: Employer Survey – Key Findings

Thank you to all those organisations contributing to the employer survey. We have heard from over 530 employers.

The surveys are now closed and we’re analysing your responses to inform revisions to the National Adult Literacy and Numeracy Standards and subject content.

Here are some of the key findings (note that a fuller report is available here):

  • Employers need people who can speak confidently and clearly. Additionally, they need new recruits to be able to write without errors and communicate in a style suited to the intended audience (e.g. using formal language and not ‘text speak’). Common issues include the need for better spelling, punctuation and grammar and being able to write and communicate clearly;
  • In maths, employers place particular importance on the basic skills of mental arithmetic, estimating , working out percentages and ratios, and being able to apply these in a business setting such as working out VAT or overcoming a work-related problem to reach a solution;
  • Views are mixed on the importance of digital skills within a maths or English context, with larger employers tending to place more importance on employees being able to use digital tools effectively. In this context one such example was the use of MS Excel and formulae when making calculations;
  • In summary, employers would like to see functional skills that result in learners being able to apply basic skills more effectively in the workplace, such as communicating well, writing accurately, and being able to perform relatively simple calculations and overcome work-based problems.

12/04/2016: The employer survey has closed and the next consultation with practitioners, subject experts and other stakeholders in the sector will commence mid-May. Those who have signed up on this portal will be notified of its launch. If you haven’t already done so, please register HERE if you wish to be involved.

01/03/2016: Register for the National Numeracy Forum on 7th March HERE.

25/02/2016: A background paper on Functional Skills has been added to the Useful Documents section.

11/02/2016: An Information Pack has been added to the Useful Documents section. It contains:

  • An electronic version of the employer survey questionnaire;
  • An email template for distribution to your networks;
  • Presentation slide packs with details of the consultation and questions – one version for employers; one for stakeholders/practitioners;
  • A short questionnaire for event attendees;
  • A postcard (PDF) advertising this website and how to contact us.

25/01/2016: The employer consultation questionnaire is now live! Please CLICK HERE to access the questionnaire and provide your views. [Update: This survey is now closed]