Functional Skills 'will be accepted' on current apprenticeship framework

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An apprenticeship body has confirmed that Functional Skills will be accepted on the current early years apprenticeship framework.

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Training providers had been worried that the GCSEs U-turn would not apply to apprentices who had signed up to the current apprenticeship framework, despite the DfE saying the change would apply to anyone studying an EYE since September 2014.

This is because Functional Skills had been removed from the early years apprenticeship framework at Level 3, which current L3 apprentices have signed up to.

Training company PBD told Nursery World that Apprenticeship Certificates England has now confirmed: ‘Skills for Care will accept Functional Skills Level 2 for learners on the EYE framework.  If you have any learners who are currently at [sic] rejected because they have Functional Skills then these learners can be resubmitted to us for certification.’

The framework at level 3 is expected to be amended and republished on 3 April, with Functional Skills added, to coincide with the publishing of the EYFS. The ACE statement means that regardless of whether they are on the current or the new framework, all apprentices can complete an apprenticeship with Functional Skills.

The SFA said last week that it will amend the funding rules and the Individualised Learner Record validation rules in line with the new policy.

The SFA guidance says: ‘The current GCSE English and maths requirements for early years educator (EYE) staff at level 3 have been broadened to include level 2 Functional Skills alongside other suitable qualifications. This is in response to the government consultation on the literacy and numeracy requirements for EYE staff and as part of the early years workforce strategy.

‘We will amend the apprenticeship funding rules, the Hub and the ILR validation rules so that anyone who started an early years apprenticeship on or after 1 September 2014 can now meet English and maths requirements through the achievement of level 2 Functional Skills or other suitable qualifications. DfE has defined other level 2 suitable qualifications in annex B of the consultation response.’

PBD won a high court battle in 2014 over the ‘five-year rule’ about GCSE resits which came about because of unforeseen complications arising from incomplete changes to apprenticeship frameworks.

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