November 2014 update
This month's update includes training events and funding news for the new QCF ESOL qualifications, information on MySkills and the latest Simplified Funding Rates catalogue.
We are pleased to confirm the dates of our free-to-attend training events, which have been designed to support your centre during the transition to the new QCF ESOL qualifications.
These training events will take place in London, Manchester and online.
You can find out more about QCF ESOL qualifications and review the specifications on our website.
Focus on qualifications
MySkills is a learning suite designed to equip learners with the essential life skills needed for adulthood, whatever their life choices may be. Through a variety of practical qualifications, learners can gain the skills required to be successful adults and make a positive contribution to their home life and community.
MySkills offers a curriculum package that is tailored to your centre’s learning programme as well as can be put together to suit the needs of your learners. It offers the flexibility you need to provide learners with a personalised learning journey that they will continue beyond education and for the rest of their lives.
MySkills includes a suite of exciting qualifications, including:
- Jamie Home Cooking Skills
- Money and Finance Skills
- Sustainability Skills
- Learning for Life
- Safe Road Skills and Attitude
- BTEC Enterprise Skills.
Skills Funding Agency – New QCF ESOL Skills for Life qualifications: funding arrangements for 2014 to 2015
On 7 October the Agency set out the funding arrangements for the new QCF ESOL Skills for Life qualifications and confirms that they will stop funding new learners on existing ESOL qualifications from 31 December 2014. In 2014-15 the Agency will fund new QCF ESOL in line with the rates set out in the funding matrix.
In addition, colleges and training organisations offering these new qualifications can claim additional funding using the 'non-regulated' funding mechanism to take account of any shortfall in funding. Details of how this will work can be found in the briefing. The new QCF ESOL qualifications will be approved automatically for delivery and included in the Simplified Funding Rates catalogue.
Skills Funding Agency – Latest Simplified Funding Rates catalogue
The latest Simplified Funding Rates catalogue for qualifications that the Skills Funding Agency has been approved for public funding in 2014 to 2015 was published on 7 October. It is updated on a regular basis as new aims and funding rates are confirmed and is published in advance of the Hub being updated so providers have the latest information.
Ofsted - Survey on the early implementation of 16-19 study programme
Ofsted undertook a survey to evaluate how effectively further education and skills providers and schools and academies with sixth forms have implemented the 16-19 study programmes introduced in August 2013.
Minister offers clarification on Functional Skills
In a letter to Ofqual Chief Executive Glenys Stacey, Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock sets out his vision for the future of maths and English GCSEs and offers some much needed clarification on the future of Functional Skills.
The recent clarification concerns the following key points:
- From August 2014, learners who did not attain a good pass at GCSE will have to study either Functional Skills or GCSEs as a condition of their funding.
- From August 2015, these funding rules will be amended so that learners with a grade 'D' at GCSE will continue to study those qualifications, whilst learners with lower grades will be enrolled on qualifications such as Functional Skills.
- Apprentices and Trainees will continue to study Functional Skills until at least 2020.
MySkills - Feedback required
We’re conducting some research into our My Skills qualifications and have created two very short surveys (3 questions each). We would be very grateful if you could answer them for us.
We appreciate your feedback, which will help us to continually improve our qualifications.
If you would be interested in setting up a skills qualifications network in your area, please contact us.