Simon Liversedge

Functional Skills COVID relaxation


Good morning, if an apprentice has a planned end date in the ILR up to 31st of Dec will the COVID relaxation on them attempting L2 still apply if they are behind progress and won't go into gateway for another few months? Below is the guidance and it only mentions planned end date nothing about them actually going into EPA past this time. 

Temporarily suspending the requirement for Level 2 apprentices to attempt Level 2 FSQs

For level 2 (intermediate) apprenticeships, apprentices must achieve a level 1 in both English and maths functional skills qualifications (FSQ) to complete their apprenticeship. Intermediate apprentices are also usually required to study towards and attempt the functional skills assessments at level 2. However, apprentices who have a planned end date of on or before 31 December 2021 do not have to work towards and attempt the level 2 functional skills English and maths assessment and can move through to gateway to sit their EPA. For apprentices with a planned end date after 31 December 2021, the normal (pre-COVID) rules and requirements for level 2 apprentices apply. Main providers should retain evidence if an apprentice did not take the level 2 assessments and add a dated note to the evidence pack for the apprentice explaining that the test was not taken due to revised guidance during COVID-19.


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I'd say it's fine for them not to attempt it, because you won't have included it in their programme (or claimed the money to deliver it)?

That's only my interpretation, probably best to try and get confirmation from the Service Desk though...

Simon Liversedge

Thanks Steve that was my thoughts exactly and a ticket has gone into the service desk :-)

Martin West

The current funding rules state:

The rule requiring level 2 apprentices to study towards, and attempt, the functional skills assessment at level 2 is temporarily suspended. Apprentices who are due to take their end-point assessment (EPA) on or before 31 December 2021 must be passed through gateway to sit their EPA without the need to attempt the level 2 functional skills English and maths assessment. Providers must retain evidence if an apprentice did not take the level 2 assessments due to coronavirus (COVID-19). For apprentices on a standard, this means they must be at gateway on or before 31 December 2021. For apprentices on a framework, they must have achieved all of the requirements of the framework by 31 December 2021. For all other apprentices, providers must plan and deliver level 2 English and maths in accordance with rules P135 to P140.


Simon Liversedge

Thats great thank you Martin


(interesting to note that AELP reckon this is likely to be extended past 31 December given The Current Circumstances, so keep an eye out for that!)

Sarah Stanway

Sorry if this has been raised previously but could you please clarify the following: We have a couple of L2 apprentices that should have been ready for gateway on 31/12/21 but due to covid they are behind on progress and will be ready for gateway at the end of Feb’22. Will these learners now be expected to sit the maths and English L2 functional skills end tests as neither of them hold GCSE grades that are equivalent to a L2? Also when learners sit the maths and English end test could you please clarify if they have to sit the exams for all three elements of the English (I.e reading, writing and S&L) before gateway?


Yes, yes and yes.

Simon Ashworth confirmed on his AELP webinar the other week that *all* elements of English must be attempted...

Sarah Stanway

Thank you Steve, I must have missed that AELP briefing I will access the recording today.