We know students who leave school with a good grasp of English and maths increase their chances of securing a job or going on to further education.
Since August 2014, students who left key stage 4 without a GCSE grade 4/C or above (or equivalent) in English and/or maths were required to continue studying these subjects as part of their 16-19 study programme. From August 2019, students starting a new or continuing an existing study programme with a GCSE grade 2 (or equivalent) or below can study towards a pass in Functional Skills level 2 or they can still study towards a GCSE grade 4 to 9. Those with a grade 3 (or equivalent) must still study GCSE only. Providers have the freedom to determine when a student is ready to re-sit or take an examination.
The department has not made estimates of the costs to providers or the number of full-time teachers required to deliver specific examinations. Rather, 16-19 education providers are funded for the overall study programmes that students take. These programmes include the provision of maths and English, where required. In 2015, we committed to maintaining the 16-19 funding base rate at current levels until 2020.
In addition to regular study programme funding of which maths and English provision is a part, we have made a number of commitments to improve the quality of teaching and learning in further education (FE) providers. Since 2013-14 we have invested over £140 million in FE teachers and leaders, including for workforce development through the independent Education and Training Foundation. We are also investing over £50 million to help FE providers improve basic maths teaching.