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Functional Skills and Vocational Qualifications
Functional skills qualifications determine whether students can apply what they have learned (in English, mathematics and ICT) in realistic settings and contexts. Vocational qualifications are a practical alternative to GCSEs and A Levels.
Functional skills qualifications determine whether students can apply what they have learned (in English, mathematics and ICT) in realistic settings and contexts.They are available from entry level (1, 2 and 3) to level 2 in English, mathematics and ICT through a variety of awarding organisations.
Functional Skills continue to form part of the Diploma and Foundation Learning and will be included in all Apprenticeship Frameworks from September 2012.
Vocational qualifications are a practical alternative to GCSEs and A Levels. The number of vocational qualifications taken in schools by 14-16 year olds has risen sharply over the past few years.
Changes to Vocational Qualifications and Performance Tables
The government commissioned Wolf Review into vocational education was published in March 2011. It concluded that too many vocational qualifications do not provide progression opportunities or the skills needed in the working environment. As a result, the Government has published a consultation that proposes changes to these qualifications and the performance tables.
In summary, the consultation states that only non-GCSE qualifications that meet the following criteria will continue to be included in the performance tables:
- taught for at least two years with good levels of take-up among 14-16 year olds
- offer pupils progression into a broad range of qualifications post-16 rather than a limited number in one or two occupational areas
- must be at least the size of a single GCSE with a maximum of two non-GCSE qualifications per learner
- contain a substantial proportion of external assessment
- must be graded (rather than pass/fail)
For further information on this consultation and to submit a response visit The Department for Education Website - Wolf Review