In the recent Policy Statement DCSF make it clear:
"We expect schools to give all young people the opportunity to take stand-alone Functional Skills qualifications by the end of Key Stage 4, alongside GCSEs and any other qualifications they may be taking”.
"Functional Skills qualifications in English, mathematics and ICT and the underpinning curriculum changes in schools will provide a single ladder of progression in these skills, from Key Stage 3 upwards"
“Functional Skills are already a compulsory part of the KS3 Curriculum in England”
“We will incentivise attainment of Functional Skills qualifications through the new School Report Card from 2011”