Why are we developing a toolkit?
Currently all students entering further education, specialist education and work based learning programmes funded by The Skills Funding Agency (formally LSC funding) undertake an initial assessment and diagnostic assessment for Functional Skills English and Maths (previously literacy and numeracy). These assessments take the form of on-line or paper based assessments to indicate the level of competence of the individual in the functional aspect of English and maths.
The project was initiated by Action following ALI/ Ofsted WorkStep inspections where it was found there was no accessible process for individuals on work based learning programmes to complete on-screen English and maths initial assessments. This was supported by research as part of the project where it became apparent that many further education establishments do not have accessible online assessments for blind and partially sighted students and therefore the consequence is an inaccurate outcome from the assessment.
Many further education establishments adapt the assessment process with the use of a human reader or adapt the assessment itself; however this is not always ideal for the individual student with sight loss as the assessment process can develop into a test of memory rather than a test of knowledge and understanding.
Current assessment tools which are used in further education and training have a high visual demand and many organisations also lack understanding of the use of assistive technology, alternative formats and resources.
At present there is no consistent approach for blind and partially sighted students to undertake initial assessment and diagnostic assessments in functional skills English and maths within further education, specialist education or work based learning.
Toolkit is available now
Further information about the Skills In-Sight Project
If you have any questions regarding the Skills In-Sight Project please contact Sue Grewcock, Skills In-Sight Project Manager.
Telephone: 01509 632429