In this first article, we’ll keep you up-to-date on the changes in the new reformed Functional Skills and give you the timeline we are working to, so you can maximise the time you have to plan.
We are currently busy working on the reformed Functional Skills qualifications and we know that, during this period of significant change, you want to be in the best position to deliver the new qualifications.
This article outlines the background to the reforms and the timeline for the new qualifications. We’ll also look at some of the details of the reformed FS and the key differences in maths and English.
The Department for Education (DfE) has stated that reform was needed to ‘improve their relevance and content, and to build their recognition and credibility in the labour market’.
There is also the desire for a renewed focus on the use for students and employers, to ensure students are fully prepared for employment and further study.
In addition; employers have stated the need for applied skills, problem solving and other skills valued by employers to be central to the reformed qualifications and the DfE have said that ‘rigour, relevance and recognition/respect’ are key to the success of the new qualifications; with the stated aim that the reformed qualifications be recognised in the same way as GCSEs.
We want to develop qualifications that are relevant, practical and meet you and your learners’ needs. In order to do that, we are following development principles. They are:
We are part of Cambridge Assessment and also the wider University of Cambridge. This means we are in a unique position to be able to provide qualifications that are based on leading assessment research, offer credibility and are genuinely right for learners. In our next blog, we will outline the research that we have completed to inform the development of the new qualifications.
We are offering a number of free webinars and face to face CPD events in the lead up to September 2019 to help teachers prepare for teaching the new Functional Skills qualifications.
A lot of content remains unchanged, but there are some new additions to the content for both maths and English.
The good news is that there are some features that will remain unchanged. However, there are some new elements of assessment that mean you will need to cover some additional elements with learners.
As with maths, there are also features in English that will remain the same in the new qualifications. Your delivery may be affected, as there is additional content you will need to cover.
There are, as well, features that are changing. Again, these are based on the DfE’s new content and Ofqual’s assessment approach and operational delivery requirements.
We are currently offering some webinars that you can attend online that will give you the most up-to-date information for your subject.
Book on the next webinars for English or Maths.
More events will be added for the spring and summer terms.
You can comment on the article below and you can also follow us on Twitter @OCR_Maths and @OCR_English.
If you would like to talk with one of our Subject Advisors, you can email us at English@ocr.org.uk or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01223 553 998.
And finally, look out for the next article where we will offer some insight into the support we can offer you and more details about our reformed qualifications. Make sure you come back and check out how OCR can support you.
Caroline Chessum - Deputy Head of Vocational Products
Caroline Chessum joined OCR in 2015 having worked within Further Education for over 13 years. She joined OCR’s Assessment Standard’s team as Chair of Examiners in 2015 and in 2018 moved to Product Management where she is now Deputy Head of Vocational Products.