Andrew Dickens

Functional Skills Level 1 eligibility (apprenticeships)




the funding guidance now states:

P134 For apprentices undertaking a level 2 apprenticeship:

P134.1 We want as many apprentices as possible to achieve level 2 English and maths. We require all apprentices to achieve level 1 (where they have not already) as a minimum and where appropriate, work towards level 2 English and maths. Not all level 2 apprentices will be required to take the assessments at level 2. Level 2 English/maths must be achieved if specified within the apprenticeship standard.


P138.1 Where the apprentice holds neither level 1 nor level 2 approved qualifications:

Apprentices must study towards and achieve English and maths qualifications of at least level 1 (Functional Skills level 1 or GCSE grade E or 2). Once level 1 (Functional Skills level 1 or GCSE grade E or 2) is secured, apprentices must work towards level 2 English and / or maths (Functional Skills level 2 or GCSE) where there is time to make meaningful progress (a minimum of three months remaining prior to gateway).


to be clear does this mean that we can fund learners who don't hold a L1 Maths/English even if they score working above L1 in their initial assessments/diagnostics?




No one has replied to this post.

Ben James


P139 We will fund Functional skills English and / or maths at level 1 or below where you (or a subcontractor) have conducted an initial assessment that shows the apprentice needs to study at a lower level before being able to achieve their level 2. The apprentice must be judged to be below level 1 to be funded for a level 1 qualification

Andrew Dickens

Thanks Ben James so basically P139 directly contradicts P138.1 then?

Ben James

Haha, sort of. The ordering of certainly questionable. Could do with P139 first I suppose! 

Ruth Canham-James

Auditors will absolutely ask for evidence of your assessment that they were working at Entry Level, if you enrol on L1. Had that twice.

Christine Gregory


Further to this, for a level 2 apprenticeship what if a learner holds a L1 exemption, ie grade 2 GCSE, but when completing diagnostics they are only coming out at Entry 3 or below?  Would we be funded for them to complete L1 FS?

I understand if they don't hold any exemptions and are assessed at working towards L2  they need to be enrolled to L2, although if they then struggle to pass the assessment, they can then take the L1 test to meet the requirements of the standard, is that right?

The funding rules totally contradict themselves, no wonder we fall foul to them.

Thanks, Christine

Andrew Dickens

Christine Gregory This is going to become a significant issue as people return to learning with GCSE evidence that was based upon Tutor assessed grades from the pandemic. 

Christine Gregory

Surely then, even if they have a L1 exemption and they are coming out at working below level 1 after completing IAs & full diagnostics, they would be disadvantaged having to study L2?