Millie, one of our bloggers, would love to be able to progress in her career as a nursery assistant. However, the government’s Level 3 GCSE requirements have stopped her from moving forward after completing her Level 2. Here, she shares how she feels about this:

As I have recently found out after completing my NVQ Level 2 in Childcare, the government have changed the guidelines. The government guidelines now require that students have maths and English GCSE at grade C or above in order to be able to study for a Level 3 Childcare apprenticeship qualification.

Before starting my Level 2 qualification this was not the case and it was only when I was near completion of my Level 2 qualification that I became aware of this.

Although I was studying my NVQ Level 2, I was progressing onto the Level 3 role in my day-to-day routine at work. This included planning activities for the week ahead, having my own key children, completing their learning journals and learning the EYFS.

I do find it extremely frustrating that I have the ability to do everything that my colleagues do in their day-to-day job, but because I do not have my C grade in maths, I cannot be Level 3 qualified.

I am passionate about educating young children and I believe I bring many other qualities to my role including: positive thinking, patience, good communication skills and enthusiasm. Despite this, I cannot progress in my chosen career because of the government’s requirements.

I approached several local schools and colleges in order to improve my maths skills and obtain a C grade at GCSE, but because of my age (17) I do not qualify for free tuition.

Maths has always been my weakness, no matter how hard I try. I put so much work and effort towards studying maths. I was one of those people who so much wanted to succeed in getting my C grade but no matter how hard I worked; I could never seem to achieve it. Due to this I lack confidence, it has become a vicious circle of trying to persuade myself that I can do it and believing that I can’t.

People may ask, “Why can you not get a private tutor?”

When I was in school I had a private tutor all the way up until my GCSEs, she did really help me but it still did not get me my C grade that I needed. Also, at thirty pounds an hour, three times a week this is prohibitive for me.

Sadly, my case is not unique and many childcarers are being held back in their career because of the Level 3 GCSE requirements.

I think that bringing back functional skills as equivalent to GCSE grades would be a good idea to help people in my situation, as these would give you the practical English language and maths skills needed to support children with their literacy and numeracy.

I really hope the government reconsiders the GCSE requirements for Level 3 apprenticeships, so that I can move forward with my role and keep doing the job I love.

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