The new functional skills tests and the link to GCSEs is explored Now an integral element of Diplomas, the new KS3 Curriculum and GCSEs from 2010, Functional Skills are the Government’s latest attempt to ensure education delivers work and life skills. Mike Baker investigates.
Back in 2005, Ruth Kelly, the then Education Secretary, prompted by pressure from business leaders, launched a ‘relentless drive’ to improve basic skills in reading, writing and literacy. This policy turned into Functional Skills in Maths, English and ICT. Currently the subject of a massive pilot, the aim is that all teenagers will pass ‘hurdle’ tests in English, maths and ICT to demonstrate they can apply their understanding in these subjects to ‘real’ situations. The relationship with GCSEs is just beginning to become clear. Join Mike Baker as he explains how Functional Skills are going to function.