In March, the government announced a U turn on its GCSE policy in early years. From 3 April 2017, the EYFS has been be changed so that, instead of an explicit ‘GCSE only’ rule, those holding a level 3 EYE qualification will need to hold approved qualifications in maths and English in order to count in ratio at level 3. The definition of ‘approved qualification’ will now include functional skills at level 2.
This change is fully retrospective to the start of the EYE in September 2014. Anyone engaged on an EYE apprenticeship, regardless of start date, is now able to complete with functional skills – this includes those whose applications were previously rejected because they did not have GCSEs.
Anyone currently studying with us for GCSE maths and English, whether as private students or as apprentices, will be supported to sit their GCSEs in June or November 2017 only, provided they tell us that they still wish to do so. However those who do not already hold functional skills are strongly advised to take these tests as well as a backup. New EYE apprentices starting with PBD will be offered a choice between GCSE and functional skills, subject to the result of diagnostic tests.
With immediate effect, no new applications for ‘standalone’ GCSEs will be accepted.