English and Maths qualifications for adults
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has released a background note that provides information on the future content and arrangements for English and Maths qualifications for adults for the academic year 2012/13 and beyond.
The note reads:
Following the Wolf Review of Vocational Education and BIS' review of adult literacy and numeracy provision, BIS set out in New Challenges, New Chances (December 2011) that it will fund GCSE English and Maths qualifications for adults from August 2012. Functional English and Maths qualifications from Entry level up to and including Level 2 will also be funded. In addition Entry Level ABS qualifications will continue to be fundable in 2012/13.
To support learners to progress towards achieving an English or Maths GCSE at A*- C, or a L2 Functional English and Maths qualification, and in recognition of the differential learning patterns of adults, from August 2012 the Skills Funding Agency will fund English and Maths QCF qualifications (from entry level up to Level 2) that provide the necessary rigour and flexibility to support this progression, and which adhere to the following principles, in that they will:
- focus on the core English and mathematical skills needed to enable learners to progress towards achieving an A*- C GCSE or L2 Functional English and Maths qualification.
- provide the necessary flexibility and responsiveness required by adult learners.
- provide robust assessment of each of the skills areas covered in order to ensure rigour and to provide evidence of the skills gained.
- reflect, in the learning outcomes and assessment criteria, the existing national literacy and numeracy standards which can be found at national literacy and numeracy standards
For qualifications to be considered for public funding they must be on the Register of Regulated Qualifications held by Ofqual. For acceptance onto the Register the qualification will need to meet the General Conditions of Recognition (2011).
BIS wrote to Awarding Organisations in January 2011 to confirm that it will no longer be funding the centrally held test bank which supports Adult Basic Skills (ABS) qualifications and Key Skills Communication and Application of Number qualifications at Levels 1 and 2. Ofqual has confirmed that the operational end-dates of these qualifications mean that no new enrolments will be taken beyond August.