Functional Skills L2 – equivalent to GCSE/condition of funding?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  kathleenmonica 9 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • ddalby

    Apologies if this has already been answered previously, did do a search before posting!
    I’m having a heated discussion with our English/Maths team who are adamant that someone 16-18 ESFA funding who has already achieved Level 2 Functional Skills English or Maths meets the condition of funding and doesn’t need to do GCSE/other qualifying English/Maths qual. Reading all the guidance I think they DON’T meet condition of funding and need to do GCSE/something else. Can anyone give me the definitive please?





    Students must study maths and/or English as part of their study programme in each academic year. This applies to students aged 16 to 18 and 19 to 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) who do not hold a GCSE grade 9 to 4, A* to C or equivalent qualification in these subjects. This applies to students starting, or who have already started, a new study programme of 150 hours or more, on or after 1 August 2014. This requirement is a condition of funding.

    Funding will be removed from future allocations for students not meeting the condition of funding.

    For all study programmes of 150 planned hours or more, students without prior attainment of a GCSE grade 9 to 4, A* to C or an equivalent qualification will need to continue to study approved maths and/or English qualifications, in each academic year, at an appropriate level until they achieve at least a grade 4 GCSE or until they are no longer funded from 16 to 19 funding.

    Therefore you are correct, yes they do need to undertake a GCSE next if they have achieved functional skills at Level 2. Failure to undertake this will result in your future allocation being reduced and if numbers are high it can impact your allocation/future funding quite significantly!

    Full guidance can be found here





    You’re right Dave.

    L2 Functional Skills is regarded (rightly or wrongly) as a stepping stone on the way to GCSE and only A*-C/9-4 counts as meeting the Condition of Funding. The only other equivalent qualifications for CoF are here:

    and FS L2 is conspicuous by its absence…


    Martin West

    Just to confirm what Karen and Steve have said
    Qualifications equivalent to GCSE grade 9 to 4 or A* to C in maths and English for the purposes of prior attainment.
    The above list does not confirm that FS 2 is equivalent and as such learners with FS 2 must study a GCSE.



    Thank you for confirming, I knew I was right but no one was listening!



    Hi, Please can I just jump into the conversation….

    Does this mean that function skills level 2 in Maths and English is not enough for a student to qualify for funding on a degree apprenticeship and that it must be GCSE level grade A-C (or equivalent)



    Martin West

    Hi Claire,
    This post is relevant to the EFA 16-18 condition of funding.

    For Apprenticeships the following applies:
    P106. For apprenticeships at level 3 and above, or where level 2 English and maths are a mandatory part of the framework and the apprentice does not already hold acceptable qualifications (please see published list):
    106.1. apprentices must achieve level 2 functional skills or GCSE qualifications grade A* to C (or 4 to 9) in English and maths before taking end-point assessment or achieving an apprenticeship framework




    Was wondering about this last week but does the published list include eg a first degree in English or Maths? Whilst it’s highly unlikely that someone could get one without a GCSE or A-Level, it’s more likely that mature apprentices will have their degree certificate knocking about!

    Obviously not something we really had to think about before May!



    Going off track slightly, if a student on a study programme completes Functional Skills L1 is there an obligation to enrol them to FSK level 2 bwfore the end of the academic year?

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