Functional skills changes – free webinars

Are you up-to-date with the recent changes to functional skills?

Well not to fear, as we’ve held several webinars on the reformed functional skills that were launched on 1 September 2019.

The new qualifications are: 

You can find out more about the new qualifications by following the links. However, if you’re looking for more in-depth information, we have made available three webinars we recently held covering English and Maths amplification and an explanation of the support we offer. 

Functional Skills Support – The Highfield Approach

Functional Skills Support – English Amplifications (Reading and Writing Levels 1 and 2)

Functional Skills Support – Maths Amplifications (Maths Levels 1 and 2)

We’re confident the webinars will help you with what you need to know about the changes to functional skills. But if you’ve still got questions, get in touch. We’re always happy to help!

You can call us on 01302 363277/0845 2260350 or email 

Have you updated your functional skills invigilation procedures?

We really want to ensure that you are up to date, particularly with the key regulatory requirement for centres to ensure that the new reformed functional skills exams are independently invigilated.

If an exam has not been independently invigilated, Highfield will not be able to accept the assessments and learners will have to retake the exam.

We are always here to support and explain if you need any further information or clarification.

As you’ll be aware, from 1 September 2019, we began offering the new reformed functional skills qualifications, giving you the opportunity to provide your customers with the very latest and most up-to-date qualifications available.

Please could we politely ask you to once again familiarise yourself with the updated guidance and policies in line with your centre agreement with us.  There have been significant changes to the invigilation requirements for the reformed qualifications, which Highfield approved centres must comply with. 

To remind you, we have highlighted the key points below:

8. Invigilators

8.1 The invigilator must not be related to learners. It is the centre’s responsibility to ensure that the invigilator is suitable to invigilate examinations.

8.2 A functional skills subject tutor must not be involved in the invigilation of that subject, even if they have not taught those candidates (i.e. a  functional skills English tutor must not invigilate any functional skills English exam and a functional skills maths tutor must not invigilate any functional skills maths exam, regardless of the level they teach).

8.3 In conjunction with 2.8.1, the invigilator must sign the Functional Skills Invigilator Declaration prior to invigilating an onscreen functional skills examination.

All of the above can be found in the Highfield Qualifications’ Examination & Invigilation Regulations (Functional Skills) document, which you can download from the members’ section of at any time.

Alternatively, if you have any questions or concerns about the new processes, please contact your account manager who will be more than happy to help.

Consultation on English and maths requirements for HEI vocational programmes

Skills for HealthHEI vocational programmes has launched a consultation on what English and maths requirements there should be for entry to higher education institutions’ – HEI vocational programmes.

The organisation is seeking the views of HEIs, FE providers, healthcare employers, learners and others with experience, or an interest, in delivering English and maths programmes.

Currently there are a range of practices in setting and operating English and maths requirements for entry to ‘pre-reg’ nursing degrees and other vocational health programmes at HEIs in England. However, reports of different practices emerged during working to establish and support employers’ use of the Skills for Health Bridging Programme, including variations in external qualification requirements, the currency of qualifications and the use of internal assessment.

As a result, Health Education England (HEE) has commissioned Skills for Health to research and produce a report, which looks at:

  • what English and maths requirements are set for entry to health-related vocational programmes at HEIs in England, and HEIs’ rationales for these
  • how employers, FE providers and HEIs are addressing skills gaps in English and maths to support progression to the above
  • whether there should be a national English and maths strategy, as an action within Talent For Care and what it should address and include

Closing date for responses is 23 December 2016. Skills for Health may wish to discuss some aspects of your response over the phone if you have time and are willing, so please indicate on the survey whether you are happy to be contacted.