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Functional Skills and the Skills Framework

Key Documents
Skills for Life Network

Rather than converge basic and key skills, QCA is looking at the development of functional skills within a skills framework

The following review has been taken from the presentation delivered by David Horsburgh,of the LSDA Key Skills Development Project, LSDA, at the Northern Skills for Life Network event held on the 13th of October 2005. The presentation can be found in Downloads.

‘QCA has refocused and subsumed the work originally planned for the Convergence Project (the convergence of basic and key skills qualifications into one set of qualifications) to progress the development of Functional Skills.

The development will be informed by recommendations coming from the
post-14 Maths Inquiry as well as English 21. Functional Skills will be
a set of qualifications in their own right, but will also underpin and
support other qualifications such as GSCE’s.


Functional Skills

QCA’s first tasks are to:

  • define what Functional skills are in more detail
  • establish a set of standards (content of knowledge and skills to be learnt)
  • consult widely on this content – from October to December 2005
  • produce a first draft starting with levels 1 and 2 in each of the three subjects – English, Maths and ICT.


The KS4 curriculum, the Key Skills qualifications and the Skills for
Life standards and qualifications provide a good starting point (5.10
of the Skills White Paper).

Once agreement has been reached about the standards at Entry level and levels 1 and 2, further work will be done on levels 3 and 4.

Eventually, the products will include Functional Skills covering working
with others, improving own learning and performance and problem solving
at all levels as well as Maths, English and ICT.’

The term Functional Skills is the working title and is not likely to be the
term eventually used.


Skills framework

‘QCA has developed a draft single framework for personal,
employability, learning and thinking skills for all learners aged 11 to
19. This single framework, together with functional English,
mathematics and ICT, will equip young people with the skills they need
to be employable and achieve success in life.’

A presentation and survey on the framework is available on the QCA
website. The survey must be completed by 18 November 2005.


Totally Skilled

Updates on the development and implementation of functional skills will be posted on the Totally Skilled website – see links.

Further Information

No further information

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