Functional Skills Revision

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Monday, 25 June 2012



June 26th - the Functional Skills newsletter
This week we have news about the September Ofsted Inspection Guidance and how Functional Skills features, news of another OCR/Guroo webinar, you chance to get involved in the next Functional Skills Annual Survey Report, details of a Functional Skills conference organised by Neil Stewart Associates and finally updates to the Wednesday Webinar recordings.
And don't forget that Guroo's innovative Functional Skills Direct initiative is running successfully and includes self-service access to the free trial system, something which is proving incredibly popular. 

The OCR/Guroo Functional Skills Webinar Series
We're absolutely delighted to announce a new partnership that brings together Guroo's extensive Functional Skills network with the curriculum and qualifications experience of OCR. 
The next webinar will be on Wednesday July 11th at the usual time of 4.00pm.  It will be hosted by Jonathan Wells of Guroo with the "core" being delivered by Garry Haynes, OCR's qualifications team manager for Functional Skills and the new Proficiency Qualifications.
The first one last week went well but we understand from some of the audience that the sound wasn't as good as normal.  We promise to try to fix this!  To play back "Transition from KS/SfL to Functional Skills", simply click here, enter any name and the password is "guroo".
Book your place now by emailing info@guroo.co.uk 

Functional Skills Annual Survey Report for 2012
One the biggest jobs of the year that we do is to design, deliver, analyse and publish the Annual Functional Skills Survey. Last year, we had more than 350 responses making it the biggest and most comprehensive survey of its type. Click here to read last year's report.
We plan to launch the 2012 survey with a link in the next newsletter scheduled for July 10th but this is a chance to suggest questions we should include - what would you like to know about Functional Skills?
Please email jwells@guroo.co.uk direct with your suggestions and we'll take the most relevant and interesting and include them where we can. 

Ofsted handbook for the inspection of FE and Skills from Sept 2012
There are some really interesting references to Functional Skills in this document which is available in full from here.  They include:
  • Section 148 (personal, social and employability skills)
  • Section 160 (achievement of learning goals and career aims)
  • Judging the quality of teaching learning and assessment
Perhaps the most relevant mention is in section 173 which judges whether leaders and managers successfully plan programmes that meet the needs of learners, employers and the community.  In this section the inspectors will assess:

"whether learning programmes contain appropriate attention to improving learners’ English, mathematics and functional skills and ensuring development of their employability skills"

From policy to implementation - Functional Skills event on July 11th
The conference is being chaired by Maureen Emmett who was a leading light on the development of Functional Skills at QCDA with Jonathan Wells of Guroo and Jill Lanning of FAB amongst the speakers.
Maureen now heads EMSkills which delivers cost effective training for Functional Skills delivery including training programmes and workshops delivered by a highly experienced team.
Click here for a link or call EMSkills on  01992 306862 or info@emskills.org.uk

The Functional Skills Wednesday Webinar
A return to the webinar hot seat for our support team in the shape of Andy this week who will focus on data, admin, reports and groups.
So if you're a new Guroo user, a trial user, or just need a refresher, a great chance to get right up to speed with all the latest developments.
Email info@guroo.co.uk and we'll send you the link on Wednesday.  
As always, the Wednesday 27th June Guroo webinars will start at just after 4.00pm


Replay previous webinars at the links below. Simply enter your name and use guroo as the password.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Are the SFA mad?

I ask this because just a few weeks ago, I saw a senior manager of SFA accept in open forum that Functional Skills (compared to Adult Basic Skills) were:
More rigorous 
and therefore
Needed more teaching time
Yet FE Week reports today that funding guidelines will cut the funding available by 40% and a good piece by Roger Francis of Mindleaders confirms this view.
I'm sorry, but this is just plain crazy and it will mean that providers will do all they can to avoid Functional Skills.


Monday, 11 June 2012


June 12th - the Functional Skills newsletter
This week we're delighted to announce a new series of Functional Skills webinars developed in partnership with OCR. Transition from KS/SfL to Functional Skills will be delivered by Susan Salter of OCR and Jonathan Wells of Guroo live from the AELP national conference on June 20th.  We have a round up of news stories related to maths and English in schools plus a reminder of key LSIS events and this week's webinar topic.
And don't forget that Guroo's innovative Functional Skills Direct initiative is running successfully and includes self-service access to the free trial system, something which is proving incredibly popular. 

The OCR/Guroo Functional Skills Webinar Series
We're absolutely delighted to announce a new partnership that brings together Guroo's extensive Functional SKills network with the curriculum and qualifications experience of OCR. 
This kicks off with a series of three newly developed webinars to be run on Wednesday afternoons June 20th, June 27th and July 4thand based on the presentations made by curriculum experts at the OCR road shows.
The first one will be hosted and introduced by Jonathan Wells of Guroo and delivered by Susan Salter of OCR and is entitled "Transition from KS/SfL to Functional Skills". It will be delivered live from the AELP national conference on Wednesday 20th at the normal webinar time of 4.05pm.
Book your place now by emailing info@guroo.co.uk 
Functional Skills in the press
Perhaps the biggest story of the week has been the curriculum review in schools.  There have been lots of stories that are clearly and directly related to Functional Skills plus the annual CBI survey which continues to highlight the need for young people to have better English and maths skills.  Here's a selection:

Functional Skills roadshow from LSIS
An important series of Functional Skills Roadshows around the country offering practical and interactive full day training sessions.
The aim is to help providers prepare for the implementation of functional skills in their vocational, adult and community and apprenticeship programmes. It will also provide an opportunity for participants to apply for LSIS support for functional skills from September.
  • Monday 25/6  London
  • Tuesday 26/6 Reading & Selby

  • Wednesday 27/6 Newcastle

  • Thursday 28/6 Leicestershire & Stockport

  • Friday 29/6 Bristol (1/2 day)

  • Wednesday 4/7 Bristol (1/2 day)
  • Friday 6/7 Birmingham
·         Thursday 12/7 Exeter

Guroo Support will be at all the events where there's space for exhibitors with our stand manned by Andy or Simon.
The Functional Skills Wednesday Webinar
A return to the webinar hot seat for Jonathan this week with this week's webinar on initial levelling, diagnostic assessment and our experiences of how students adapt to Functional Skills.  The webinar will feature:
  • Paper based levelling tool
  • On-line assessment
  • Diagnostic results
Email info@guroo.co.uk and we'll send you the link on Wednesday.  
It's a session that's relevant for everyone with an interest in Functional Skills so join us at 4.05pm on Wednesday 13th June for another informative webinar.

Replay previous webinars at the links below. Simply enter your name and use guroo as the password.
Guroo Support will be at all the events where there's space for exhibitors with our stand manned by Andy or Simon.


June 12th - the Functional Skills newsletter
This week we're delighted to announce a new series of Functional Skills webinars developed in partnership with OCR. Transition from KS/SfL to Functional Skills will be delivered by Susan Salter of OCR and Jonathan Wells of Guroo live from the AELP national conference on June 20th.  We have a round up of news stories related to maths and English in schools plus a reminder of key LSIS events and this week's webinar topic.
And don't forget that Guroo's innovative Functional Skills Direct initiative is running successfully and includes self-service access to the free trial system, something which is proving incredibly popular. 

The OCR/Guroo Functional Skills Webinar Series
We're absolutely delighted to announce a new partnership that brings together Guroo's extensive Functional SKills network with the curriculum and qualifications experience of OCR. 
This kicks off with a series of three newly developed webinars to be run on Wednesday afternoons June 20th, June 27th and July 4thand based on the presentations made by curriculum experts at the OCR road shows.
The first one will be hosted and introduced by Jonathan Wells of Guroo and delivered by Susan Salter of OCR and is entitled "Transition from KS/SfL to Functional Skills". It will be delivered live from the AELP national conference on Wednesday 20th at the normal webinar time of 4.05pm.
Book your place now by emailing info@guroo.co.uk 
Functional Skills in the press
Perhaps the biggest story of the week has been the curriculum review in schools.  There have been lots of stories that are clearly and directly related to Functional Skills plus the annual CBI survey which continues to highlight the need for young people to have better English and maths skills.  Here's a selection:

Functional Skills roadshow from LSIS
An important series of Functional Skills Roadshows around the country offering practical and interactive full day training sessions.
The aim is to help providers prepare for the implementation of functional skills in their vocational, adult and community and apprenticeship programmes. It will also provide an opportunity for participants to apply for LSIS support for functional skills from September.
  • Monday 25/6  London
  • Tuesday 26/6 Reading & Selby

  • Wednesday 27/6 Newcastle

  • Thursday 28/6 Leicestershire & Stockport

  • Friday 29/6 Bristol (1/2 day)

  • Wednesday 4/7 Bristol (1/2 day)
  • Friday 6/7 Birmingham
·         Thursday 12/7 Exeter

Guroo Support will be at all the events where there's space for exhibitors with our stand manned by Andy or Simon.
The Functional Skills Wednesday Webinar
A return to the webinar hot seat for Jonathan this week with this week's webinar on initial levelling, diagnostic assessment and our experiences of how students adapt to Functional Skills.  The webinar will feature:
  • Paper based levelling tool
  • On-line assessment
  • Diagnostic results
Email info@guroo.co.uk and we'll send you the link on Wednesday.  
It's a session that's relevant for everyone with an interest in Functional Skills so join us at 4.05pm on Wednesday 13th June for another informative webinar.

Replay previous webinars at the links below. Simply enter your name and use guroo as the password.
Guroo Support will be at all the events where there's space for exhibitors with our stand manned by Andy or Simon.