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Key Skills in Modern Apprenticeships – what next?


The latest edition of the KeySkillsWork newsletter documents the recent uncertainty over the QCA's interim report into Curriculum 2000 - the reforms brought in last year to overhaul school and college curricula.

Much criticism has appeared in the press of the new AS level examinations, one of the key reforms, but Curriculum 2000 also saw the introduction of the Key Skills Qualification as an integral part of academic courses. KeySkillsWork notes that there has been a delay in establishing the implications of the QCA's report for key skills in Modern Apprenticeships.

The Key Skills Qualification was subject to review earlier this year to establish assessment arrangements, the relationships betweeen Key Skills at level 3 and AS levels in English and Maths, and the specifications of each key skill. An initial report from the QCA in July revealed that, although there was widespread support for the concept of key skills, the way it had been put into practice was subject to much criticism from those involved. At the time, the NTO National Council complained about a lack of consultation before the report appeared.

As a result of the report, the QCA made new recommendations that the single Key Skills Qualification introduced in September last year should be phased out, and that those students with existing grades A-C in English, Maths or ICT would not need to complete the relevant qualification, but simply provide evidence towards it. As regards Modern Apprenticeships, however, no recommendations were made as to whether the role of Key Skills should be amended. A final report is due from the QCA in December which should clarify matters.

For those interested in following the progress of the Curriculum 2000 review, the full story so far can be read at

Key Skills Analysis: A resource for analysing job content and training needs and for selecting training and development programmes has been reviewed recently by the TrainingZONE reviewing team - read the review and find out more about the publication here.


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