A new scheme to bring free Level 1 Functional Skills courses to tens of thousands of people via online learning has been launched by the OU in partnership with Further Education (FE) Colleges in England. It will help people develop basic skills in English and Maths by studying on the OpenLearn platform, and they can then get a qualification via a local college partner.
Helping with basic skills
The Open University, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary, was founded on the principle of opening up access to education to all.
Andrew Law, Head of Propositions at The Open University said: “In our 50th birthday year we remain true to our social mission with this exciting new project. This is a flexible, low-risk way for people to develop their basic skills, gaining confidence and even a qualification. It could transform their career prospects.
“More than seventy per cent of the seven and a half million adults using OpenLearn each year do so for work-related reasons, so we know this is an ideal way to help thousands of people gain new skills. Working in partnership to combine our digital learning expertise with course design and practical, local support from FE colleges is a great offer for anyone that wants to gain Functional Skills.”
Two courses will initially be on offer, Everyday Maths and Everyday English, each taking a total of 48 hours of study to complete. There is an Open Licence on the materials, which means that others can copy and re-use the course content for their own teaching and learning.
Alongside funding from the Department for Education, this pilot is benefiting from a kind donation by one of the OU’s supporters, Dangoor Education.
In parallel with the English pilot, the OU is partnering with colleges in Wales on a similar pilot to deliver Essential Skills in English and Maths. The Welsh pilot is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
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Read the full press release.