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Functional Skills E-Petition

The following Downing Street E-Petition has been brought to our attention and we've been asked to share it with contacts and friends to get as many people to sign up as possible.  So we hope that everyone reading this will consider the issue and share the petition with others who have a vested interest.

The petition creater, Gillian Fawcett, decided to start the petition after a peer review and development group meeting about functional skills.  Schools have already removed functional skills from GCSEs and the Association of Colleges has found in a recent survey that "Functional skills ... are reported ... to be a barrier to student take up and achievement.".  The survey is worth a read if you aren't sure of the issues.

The petition can be viewed by clicking the following link: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/fskills/#detail and calls for the Prime Minister to intervene to stop Functional maths and English being included in Apprenticeships designed for Vocational Learners.

Gillian's petition states that:

"Apprenticeships are designed to support the acquisition of skills and knowledge in the workplace. They are based around vocational qualifications and are designed for young people and adults who have chosen to follow a non-academic route into further education and training. From September 2010, such schemes will include Functional Maths and English qualifications, which are formal qualifications that need to be taught away from the workplace, and which are assessed by tests in exam conditions. There are no exemptions from these tests.

This will result in a system where “academic” learners can take A’ levels and degrees without having to achieve either GCSEs or Functional Skills in maths and English, whereas a young person who chooses a vocational route (because they do not want to take more academic exams) is faced with 3 hour long tests at a level which, in the vast majority of cases, their employers do not require.  Functional Skills will both reduce the achievement rate for apprenticeships, and will act as a barrier to learners taking up apprenticeships. It will result in an unfair system, heavily biased against vocational, workplace learning."

Please consider the issues and if you feel so inclined go and sign the petition.  There were 69 signatures as at 2:00 pm today.

If anyone else would like to publicise anything through our Latest News please contact us.


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