All young people undertaking a Traineeship are required to study English and maths unless they have already achieved a GCSE at A*-C in those subjects or, for those 19 or above, a Functional Skills qualification at Level 2. Young people aged 16 to 19 taking part in a Traineeship are expected to continue to work towards achieving a GCSE A*- C, taking Functional Skills as stepping stone qualifications. For those aged 19 and over Functional Skills qualifications alone may be more appropriate.
It is important that all trainees are stretched when doing their English and maths. Where taught, English and maths should therefore build on the level of the qualification already achieved, so a student who has achieved a GCSE Grade D or a Level 1 qualification should be taught at Level 2 rather than Level 1, for example.
From September 2015 the new GCSEs in English and maths will be available for teaching at Key Stage 4. These qualifications will include a greater focus on the more applied aspects of English and maths, such as problem solving, writing for different purposes including factual writing and spelling and grammar. Providers are strongly encouraged to consider how teaching young people to work towards achieving these new qualifications will be incorporated in their provision in the future.
Providers should aim to support young people to complete their English and maths qualifications within their Traineeship where possible. In some cases it may take longer for a young person to achieve these crucial elements. We would expect young people to continue and complete these qualifications, together with any vocational training they have begun, after the formal Traineeship is achieved. For instance, this could be as part of further study towards employment, or as part of their Apprenticeship. Providers will need to comply with the relevant funding guidance and rules in this area.
(Framework for Delivery 2015-2016)