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Functional Skills and ESOL Skills for Life Update October 2020

Ref : B20-77

Type : Amendment

Date : 23 October 2020

October update for Functional Skills English, Mathematics, ICT and ESOL Skills for Life.

As COVID-19 continues to have a presence in the UK, we felt it important to update our customers to ensure things run more smoothly in 2020/21. We understand the challenges that our centres and your learners have faced and want to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and support in these unprecedented times.

AoC, AELP, HOLEX, FAB, JCQ, Ofqual and all Awarding Organisations are committed to working together to ‘mitigate the disruption of teaching, learning and assessments so that, as far as possible, learners have the opportunity to receive fair results in 2020 to 2021 and are not disadvantaged by the longer-term impacts of the pandemic’. Please read their full statement here

The main purpose of this update is to provide reminders to our centres of the things they should consider:

CAG – The CAG process is currently not in place. If a CAG process is reintroduced, please make sure that you are in the best position possible. Keep copies of Initial Assessments, Diagnostic Assessments, Mock Papers, In-learning evidence, to be forwarded to NOCN if the Government has to reinstate CAG.

Online tests – We are weeks away from being able to offer online, on-demand, Functional Skills tests through our Calibrand platform. We would also be interested in hearing if centres would welcome ESOL Skills for Life being available online.

Paper-based tests – We continue to offer these and encourage you to plan the best timings to administer these, based on your local lock-down rules.

Speaking, listening and communicating – Centres are now able to assess this element remotely, as long as they abide by the NOCN rules about conducting the assessments.

Remote invigilation – We would be interested in hearing if this is a service that you would like us to offer.

If you have any particular concerns or queries, please contact your local NOCN Business Development Manager, or email (adding the subject heading – FAO Skills for Life Team).