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Functional Skills Update - Funding Rates & Value vs. GCSE

With maths & English skills provision remaining firmly in the educational spotlight the debate continues over which qualifications are best suited to meet the needs of the next generation of learners.

The biggest question remaining in this debate is whether GCSEs or Functional Skills should be used to deliver maths & English training within Apprenticeships. As things currently stand, a recent GCSE at grades A*-C serves to exempt a learner from further study as part of their apprenticeship. If further study is required, however, then Functional Skills are the preferred option for many providers, as their focus on practical application often appeals to learners in a way that the academic qualifications fail to manage.

The decision to require GCSEs for the new level 3 Early Years Educator courses (EYE) and to not accept Functional Skills as an alternative was greeted with dismay by many in the sector, with some commenters fearing that this served as a prelude to the removal of Functional Skills from Apprenticeship frameworks. A recent discussion held by The Guardian supported the suggestion that this type of change could have a significant negative impact on Apprenticeships.

IQ is currently keeping a close eye on all developments relating to Functional Skills and will be working with the regulator and other interested parties to ensure that the qualifications to remain an integral part of future maths & English provision.

New funding rates

The Skills Funding Agency (SFA) has recently published its list of simplified funding rates for the 2014/15 academic year and the full list can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/qualifications-simplified-funding-rates-2014-to-2015

The funding rates for popular Functional Skills and GCSE qualifications are listed below.

  • £941 for Entry Level Functional Skills qualifications in maths.
  • £724 for Entry Level Functional Skills qualifications in English.
  • £724 for Level 1&2 Functional Skills qualifications in maths.
  • £724 for Level 1&2 Functional Skills qualifications in English.
  • £724 for GCSE qualifications in maths.
  • £724 for GCSE qualifications in English.
  • £336 for Functional Skills qualifications in ICT at all levels.
  • £300 for free standing maths qualifications at Level 2.

Apr 15, 2014 02:20 PM
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