Functional skills: what do the experts think?

Scepticism over reforms aimed at making the qualifications more employer-friendly

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Frustration has been building across the sector over the dramatic increase in GCSE English and maths entries caused by the government’s controversial resits policy. As a result, calls have been getting louder for functional skills to be made available as an alternative.

The qualifications were introduced in 2007 to provide non-GCSE flexible study programmes for adults and young people wanting to return to education. In 2015, former skills minister Nick Boles announced that the qualifications were to be overhauled because “learners and employers must have faith in them”, with the Education and ...

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