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New GCSE requirements explained

Since September 2014, learners have been required to hold GCSEs in Maths and English at Grade C or above in order to gain a full and relevant level 3 early years educator (EYE) qualification and count in the ratios in a group early years setting.

However, following a public consultation late last year, the Government has recently announced that this requirement will be changing from 3 April 2017.

Instead of just GCSEs, a number of additional other level 2 Maths and English qualifications will be recognised, including functional skills. This means that individuals will now have a choice about what type of level 2 Maths and English qualifications they obtain in order to gain a full level 3 qualification and count in the ratios.

Does this mean that I can stop doing my GCSE?

There is still a requirement to obtain a level 2 qualification in English and Maths, it just doesn’t have to be a GCSE. If you stop doing your GCSE, you will still have to complete another level 2 course, for example a functional skills qualification, in order to count in the ratios in a group early years setting. You are likely to have to pay for and complete another course, as well as pay a training and/or examination fee.

It is important to remember that GCSEs are highly transferrable, well-regarded qualifications that may help you to progress your career in the future. They are also a good means of demonstrating to Ofsted that you have a commitment to providing the highest quality care and education.

You can read full details of the new requirements here.

What equivalent level 2 qualifications are there?

English

  • Functional Skills qualification in English at Level 2
  • GCSE/International GCSE qualification in English Language and/or Literature to at least grade C (grade 4).
  • Key Skills qualification in Literacy at Level 2
  • A Level or AS Level qualification in English Language and/or English Literature to at least grade E
  • O Level qualification in English to at least grade C
  • CSE grade 1 English (Language)

Maths

  • Functional Skills qualification in Mathematics at Level 2
  • GCSE/International GCSE qualification in Mathematics to at least grade C (grade 4)
  • Key Skills qualification in Application of Number at Level 2
  • A Level or AS Level qualification in Mathematics or Pure Mathematics and/or Further Mathematics to at least grade E
  • O Level qualification in Mathematics to at least grade C
  • CSE grade 1 Mathematics

Download this information as a PDF.