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Consultation on functional skills reforms launched

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The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) has launched a consultation into the review of maths and English functional skills qualifications.

The review, commissioned by skills minister Nick Boles, will follow on from the ETF’s original review, published in March 2015, which suggested that functional skills were “not broken” but suffering from a reputation as a “consolation prize” in a GCSE-focused system.

The consultation will run until 7 April 2016 and will be carried out by Pye Tait Consulting and the Learning and Work Institute.

David Russell, chief executive of ETF, said: “Many employers have concerns about the standards of maths and English of prospective employees. However, of those employers that have first-hand experience of functional skills, 87 per cent found them to be a useful qualification.

“GCSE is the principal qualification in England for maths and English, and will remain so. Many adults – young and older – who have struggled with these subjects at school benefit from being taught functional skills because they see clearly how [that] will benefit them in life and work."

More information on the functional skills consultation can be found on the ETF website.

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