Our plans for our Functional Skills qualifications

Published: Wednesday 1 May 2024

Our Functional Skills English (8720, 8725), and Functional Skills Mathematics (8361, 8362) qualifications will be coming to an end. The last cohort for first teaching will be September 2024. The final certification for will be in summer 2025, and there will be no resit opportunity.

We appreciate that this may come as a disappointment and want to explain the reasons behind this difficult decision.

Our aim is to make sure that we offer qualifications that meet the current and future needs of most learners, and teachers. As an education charity, we also have to make sure we use our resources effectively, so we regularly review our qualifications to make sure we’re meeting those aims.

We redeveloped our Functional Skills qualifications for first teaching in September 2019 – even though the entries were already low – so we could make sure that we were able to provide post-16 learners with an alternative qualification for GCSE English and GCSE Maths resits.

Continuing low entries suggest we’re not meeting the needs of most learners and teachers with our current qualifications. It also makes it more challenging for us to support this qualification, as the additional resource needed is disproportionate to the number of learners who take it. So, while we do our best to respond to these needs by offering a broad range of qualifications, this also means not continuing with some.

We’ll of course continue to provide schools and colleges with the support they need to complete this qualification while it’s still available.

Alternative qualifications

For some of your 11–16 learners, a suitable alternative qualification offering a skills-based approach might be our Entry Level Certificate in English or Maths.

Or for both 11–16 and over 16 learners, an alternative might be the new Functional Skills qualifications from TQUK – part of the AQA group. Their Functional Skills portfolio has been designed to meet the needs of schools and colleges, and learners – offering streamlined services with on-demand assessments. Exams can be booked five days in advance, and results are ready in six days.

These assessments are available in two ways:

  • Online remote: learners can sit their assessments at any time, in any place, with TQUK remotely invigilating through its purpose-built record and review system.
  • Online face-to-face: learners sit their assessments online in a controlled setting, invigilated by centre staff who then upload the completed documents for review and marking.

If you have any questions, would like further support or to talk about alternative qualifications, please contact us and our teams will be happy to help.

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