A flexibility that suspends the requirement for level 2 apprentices to study towards and sit a level 2 functional skills assessment has been extended again.

In an update published today, the Education and Skills Funding Agency announced the funding rule would remain suspended until 31 July 2021.

The agency said this “recognises the continued disruption to the apprenticeship programme due to coronavirus”.

Level 2 apprentices will still need a level 1 in functional skills English and maths to complete their apprenticeship, the update added.

The flexibility to the rule that level 2 apprentices must study towards a functional skills assessment in English and maths at that level was originally suspended last April.

At that time, it was relaxed for end-point assessments until 31 July 2020.

However, it was later extended to the end of March 2021.

This is one of a swathe of flexibilities the government has brought in for apprentice assessments in response to the pandemic.

Last month, the Department for Education rolled-out an allowance for apprentices to take their end-point assessment before their English and maths functional skills test.

It was also confirmed in February teacher-assessed grades can be used for functional skills learners, but only if they are unable to take their assessment in person or remotely.

This is after the skills sector warned thousands of apprentices were “stuck in limbo” while awarding bodies struggled to figure out how to adapt functional skills assessments for Covid-19.