Paul Blackshaw

New GCSE grade equivalencies for level 1 functional skills

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Interested to know how providers are planning to retrospectively apply the 2024/25 funding rule 38.1 that states GCSE grades D to G or 3 to 1 will be equivalent to level 1 functional skills and will therefore satisfy the requirements of a level 2 apprenticeship. 

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Steve Hewitt

So, the only change is including grade 1/F-G, right? Rather than 2/E being the lowest?

In terms of implementing it, simple. Ask all yr L2 Apps for their certs/look on the their PLRs and, if you can see the 1/F-G, they get to stop having to do FS. As has been long-established (with, eg, someone who finally digs their certificate out of their mam's loft), YOU CAN KEEP THE MONEY where you've been teaching them. Just flag them as Withdrawn on the FS aim when you can last evidence teaching them. Because E&M aims aren't part of the QAR for Apprenticeships, this is fine.

Paul Blackshaw

Thanks Steve. Your reference to the rule that allows the money earned to date to be retained is an excellent point. Cheers.

Steven Edmondson

Suppose we withdraw everyone who is now exempt, does anyone not near the end of the programme now need to enrol on Level 2 to complete the work towards criteria? Learners with the lowest grades surely aren't going to start passing through L2 but perhaps the ESFA are satisfied that at least there is an attempt to deliver at that level. 

Christine Gregory

Hi all, so does this rule apply to all apprentices even if they are due to complete 23/24?  thanks

Steven Edmondson

Christine Gregory Per the last line of the policy update it applies to learners on programme.

Christine Gregory

Hi, I was unsure as some the new rules apply to new starts from 31st Aug only, then others to all learners on programme after 31st July, but this one is worded differently.  What about the ruling regarding attempting L2? Thanks

(Edited)

Christine Gregory

Hi all,  I know I may sound like I'm really not understanding this rule at all, but one of our Awarding organsiations is not accepting Grade 1 as an exemption for a current learner.  Will this rule only come into effect 1st August or am I right in understanding that it is in relation to all apprentices now?  Thanks

Steven Edmondson

Just took a quick look and I knew the policy update isn't listed in the 23/24 rules as far as I can see. So it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume the rule will only kick in for learners who will be reaching gateway after August 1st (though surely this would mean gateway could be put off until then though this may impact learners QAR hybrid end year).

 

If you are looking to implement this straight away it would be worth contacting the ESFA for direct clarification and sharing it here.