Available from June 2015.
Ofqual/15/5721 (previous version Ofqual/14/5455)
This document is part of a suite of documents (it contains links to the other docs) which sets out the regulatory requirements for awarding organisations offering GCSE qualifications (graded from 9 to 1). It aims:
- To provide evidence of students’ achievements against demanding and fulfilling content;
- To provide a strong foundation for further academic and vocational study and for employment; and
- To provide (if required) a basis for schools and colleges to be held accountable for the performance of all of their students.
There is also a post research review and consultation outcome.
Information about sample assessments.
Jolly useful postcard from Ofqual explaining the new GCSE grading structure against the current structure (with indication of ‘good’ pass).
AoC have put together a useful flowchart.
“Following the accreditation of the reformed GCSE maths (9 to 1) specifications, concerns were expressed as to differences in the difficulty of exam boards’ sample assessment materials and in their approach to the assessment of problem solving. The following programme of research was conducted to evaluate whether the concerns were valid and the differences sufficient to undermine the teaching, learning and assessment of GCSE maths.”
SASE Implementation – 11 May 2011
The spreadsheet attached is from the apprenticeship website it has been designed to inform you of the transition from the current ‘Blueprint compliant’ frameworks and the new ‘SASE (Specification for Apprenticeship Standards in England) compliant’ frameworks.
Hairdressing Don’t forget the Embedded Learning Materials for Hairdressing. They are cross referenced to the Core Curriculum so give you a good idea of level. Although the levels are not exactly the same for functional skills they are incredibly useful resources. You know how Great-Learning loves to teach in context. Well these resources give you that context – consider using them even if you are not working with hairdressers.
Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England January 2011
The Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE) sets out the minimum requirements to be included in a recognised English framework. Compliance with the SASE is a statutory requirement of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning (ASCL) Act. This is the first statutory SASE. It will be brought into effect by order issued by the Secretary of State.
Apprenticeships – Learning from the best – useful publications from Ofsted
The documents give outlines of best practice from providers of apprenticeships in underperforming vocational areas. Dated 15 October 2010 but still useful.
Factors which contributed to sustaining high numbers, or increasing numbers, of apprentices completing their qualifications, and to improving the time taken for them to do this.
Not surprisingly ‘there were many examples of the good provision of key skills, starting from induction and then contextualised so that the apprentices and employers could see the relevance of these to their vocational area.’ This only highlights the importance planning for functional skills.
Earlier documents (for reference)
Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England (SASE)
Sector Skills Councils
UKCES is the UK Commission for Employment and Skills and one are of its remit is to ‘Fund and manage the performance of the Sector Skills Councils as key industry leaders in skills and employment’. There are presently 23 sector skills councils.
The websites (see attached) of each of the sector skills councils contain a wealth of information including how functional skills relate to their existing frameworks and frameworks post 31 March 2011.
Sector Skills Councils
Resource – Brickwork – calculating rate of work
This is a useful resource for Functional Maths. Originally produced for Key Skills teaching and learning by HMP Liverpool for their construction learners. However, it might be a useful context for other learners – remember that the Functional Skills assessments can be set in any context.
Following the Ofqual thematic review this report sets out the improvements that awarding organisations are making to functional skills qualifications following our review last year.- check with your AO as many of the assessments will change from September 2015.
For example C&G.
This website is for senior leaders and governing board members from the education and training sector in England. Its purpose is to provide information, guidance and resources to help increase GCSE English and mathematics capacity in the post-16 sector.
This ETF research report has a number of key findings
There are three interrelated themes that figure strongly in this review:
- Functional Skills are gaining widespread recognition across small and large employers. Employers who know about them like the approach they embody i.e. applied skills, flexible assessment and problem solving.
- Functional Skills are benefitting learners because they focus on helping people to acquire skills that are valued by employers. They are needed because otherwise those who have not achieved a good pass at GCSE have no public certification of the skills they have acquired.
- The system of Functional Skills is not broken but could be improved. If government continues with the policy of investing in the literacy and numeracy skills of young people the current arrangements for Functional Skills are a good basis on which to build. However, there are steps government and others can take to accelerate the rise in employer recognition and further improve the relevance, rigour and value of these qualifications.