Course Overview

What are Functional Skills? Functional Skills are the essential skills needed for people, particularly young people and adults to participate in life and work. Functional skills work by trying to pit the learner’s knowledge and understanding against a range of familiar and unfamiliar settings.

There are three Functional Skills available: English, Mathematics, ICT. ICT is however, currently not provided at our college.

Functional Skills English can be broken down into three assessments: Speaking & Listening, Reading and Writing.

  • Speaking & Listening: Learners take part in formal and informal discussions, making exchanges with other learners. A lot of classroom talk and exchange with the teacher is involved. Learners learn how to: listen and respond to others; speak and present with formality; be able to make think and make rational decisions; participate in group discussions and interaction; engage in drama, role-play and performance.
  • Reading: Reading involves reading a lot of text and trying to understand the written language and, if any, the meaning behind what is written, where text is defined as ‘materials that include the use of words that are written, printed on screen or presented using braille. You will learn how to pick out on relevant information be able to summarise correctly and understand what the text is trying to say. You will learn to differentiate between bias and unbiased and also learn how the use of vocabulary and grammar play a huge role on impacting the reader and how this can be done for writing.
  • Writing: Writing in Functional Skills teaches you how to construct and write texts that are suited for purpose. You will be able to write in both a bias and unbiased way. You will learn how to write a variety of sentences, uses of grammar, the effect of difference sentence structures and how these can have an effect on the reader.

Functional Skills Mathematics helps learners to develop practical and transferrable skills in Mathematics in order to work confidently. Whether if you know it or not, you use Mathematics in your everyday lives: measurements for cooking, calculating bills, calculating how long it takes for someone/something to arrive or how long it takes to get home, shopping, reading the time, and so on. The list is endless. With functional skills, you will learn a range of mathematical skill and techniques ranging from basic such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and advance techniques where you will be able to interpret data or use probability to find out an outcome.

Level 1 Functional Skills are the equivalent to GCSE’s E-D and Level 2 being the equivalent to GCSE’s C-A*. There is however no equivalent for the current GCSE’s grading system 1-9. Functional Skills do not serve as a direct substitute to GCSEs but it does show that you are able to hold your own as a functioning adult and will help greatly with employment.

As grading is becoming stricter, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get into University with Functional Skills as fewer Universities are accepting GCSEs and are only accepting GCSEs/A-Levels. This however does not stop you from applying. Bear in mind that, Functional Skills DO NOT have credits.

Functional Skills are a mandatory element of Apprenticeships, assuming you do not have GCSEs already and are included as a part of the package. An Intermediate Apprenticeship comes with Functional Skills at Level 1. An Advanced Apprenticeship comes with Functional Skills at Level 2. ICT is not mandatory except for a few Apprenticeships, for example, a Business Administration Apprenticeship.


Functional Skills is offered at:

  • Entry Level
  • Level 1
  • Level 2


Classes will be held once a week for 6 weeks followed by an examination which can be taken whenever you are ready to take the exam. During the 6 weeks, you are free to use our facilities or see the tutor for one-to-one sessions Monday-Friday (except on the day when classes are running).

Course Content

For Functional Skills English:

- Make a range of contributions to discussions in a range of contexts, including those that are unfamiliar, and make effective presentations.
- Select, read, understand and compare texts and use them to gather information, ideas, arguments and opinions.
- Write a range of texts, including extended written documents, communicating information, ideas and opinions effectively and persuasively.

For Functional Skills Maths:

  • Understanding routine and non-routine problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts and situations.
  • Identify the situation or problems and identify the mathematical methods needed to solve them.
  • Choose from a range of mathematics to find solutions.
  • Apply a range of mathematics to find solutions.
  • Use appropriate checking procedures and evaluate their effectiveness at each stage.
  • Interpret and communicate solutions to multi-stage practical problems in familiar and unfamiliar contexts and situations.
  • Draw conclusions and provide mathematical justifications.

Entry Requirements

You will be required to undertake an Initial Assessment and depending on the results, we will suggest the appropriate level for you to do accordingly. If you do not agree with the suggestion, you are still free to decide what level you would like to do.

You cannot undertake Functional Skills Level 2 without already having a certificate Functional Skills Level 1 or equivalent (e.g. GCSEs D-E).

Course Fees:

Functional Skills offered as part of an Apprenticeship will not require any fees as this will be funded by your organisation/the government.

Functional Skills is offered to private learners. In this case, it will be £400 for each course including administration, registration and examination fees.

If you have any queries, please let us know on our Contact Us page.

How to Apply

‘If you would like to apply for a course, give us a call, email or fill out a form under our ‘Contact Us’ page. You can also pay us a visit in person. Our address can be found below. We look forward to hearing from you!

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