Functional Skills

Learners who have not achieved a GCSE C or Equivalent in either English or Maths or Both; are required to work towards a functional skill in the qualification they have not yet achieved.

What are Functional Skills?

Functional Skills are practical skills in English, Maths and ICT for all learners aged 14 and above. Functional Skills provide you with essential knowledge, skills and understanding that will enable you to operate confidently, effectively and independently in life and work.

They are learning tools that enable you to:
  • Apply your knowledge and understanding to everyday life
  • Engage competently and confidently with others
  • Solve problems in both familiar and unfamiliar situations
  • Develop professionally as positive citizens.

Why are Functional Skills important?

Functional Skills are important because they provide you with the skills, knowledge and understanding that you will need in order to progress and succeed in education, work and life.

Who are they for?

Functional Skills are available to all learners from Key Stage 3 upwards, whatever learning pathway you are taking. The skills taught will help you to participate and progress in education, training and employment. Working on Functional Skills helps you to develop and secure the broader range of aptitudes, attitudes and behaviours that will enable you to make a positive contribution to the communities in which you live and work.

At what levels are Functional Skills qualifications available?

Functional Skills qualifications in English, Maths and ICT are available at Entry 1, Entry 2, Entry 3, Level 1 and Level 2. Each subject area has a set of performance standards based on three key areas:


Taking a situation and representing it mathematically.

Using maths to break down results as a way of explaining something.

Interpreting and communicating the results of analysis.


Speaking & Listening
Making an oral presentation or report.

Understanding information and instructions.

Writing accurately so that meaning is clear.


Use of ICT
 Using technological tools and resources.

Finding & selecting information.

Presenting & communicating information.

How do Functional Skills levels equate to National Curriculum levels?
Entry Level 1 = NC level 1 Entry Level 2 = NC Level 2 Entry Level 3 = NC Level 3

Level 1 = NC Levels 4 and 5
Level 2 = NC Levels 6 and 7