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Approach to the Reformed Functional Skills and the challenges to Centres



Reformed Functional Skills Qualifications in English and mathematics will be available for first teaching on 1st September 2019.

The Department for Education and Ofqual have consulted on, and confirmed their overall approach to regulating these new Functional Skills Qualifications. Although there are a number of changes from the current Functional Skills Qualifications, some aspects have remained the same.  There are however, a number of challenges that Centres do need to be made aware of before 1st September 2019.

So what has not changed? The Reformed Functional Skills Qualifications continue to:

  • have the three components of Speaking, Listening and Communication, Reading and Writing, which all need to be successfully passed to achieve the overall award of English.
  • have the three core sections that relate to Number, Measure and Shape and Data Handling, which all need to be successfully passed to achieve the overall award of mathematics.
  • enable Level 1 and Level 2 to be available to support skill development, progression and attainment.
  • enable each level to build on the skills of the previous levels and encompass the skills of the previous levels.
  • have assessments that will be accessible, flexible and varied to meet learner needs.
  • ensure that Level 1 and Level 2 assessments will be externally set and externally marked, apart from the Speaking, Listening and Communication component which will still be internally assessed by the Centre and externally moderated.


Delivery of the Reformed Functional Skills require centres and providers to consider the:

  • increased challenges for learners to demonstrate independent competence across the range of skills
  • greater expectation for learners to ‘perform’ to the required level
  • requirement for structured spelling, using phonics, being a core aspect at all levels
  • different format and structure of the specifications and subject content
  • specific qualification content which must be fully covered to support successful end assessment.
  • need for learners to be able to complete non-calculator operations, as well as calculator.

In order to assist centres and providers, there will be workshops scheduled in the near future to look at the delivery of the Reformed Functional Skills.