English Functional Skills

Functional Skills
1 and 2
1 year


What is English Functional Skills?

Do you sometimes feel embarrassed or frustrated that your spelling or punctuation let you down?
Have you often avoided public speaking because you are too nervous?
Do you worry that your English might hinder your employment chances?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then English Functional Skills might be the course for you. It is practical, varied and designed to help people with the skills needed for the world of work. It is most suitable for those with low or no GCSE grades in English.

Is English Functional Skills suitable for me?

Similar courses in the past have been welcomed by students because of the teaching and testing of work related skills and the practical nature of delivery. High attendance and good levels of commitment are a must, however, and students are monitored very closely.

How will I learn?

Most of the teaching is concerned with improving your skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Your teacher will assess you at the beginning of the course and draw up a programme of study which is appropriate for you. You will develop reading skills, improve your oral communication and learn to write reports and letters. You will have regular tests throughout the course, and, if successful will progress to a higher level each time. Teaching is delivered through whole class instructions, small group work and individual learning plans. It is lively and varied and much of the work will be topic based. You will be expected to continue some of your class assignments at home as well as practising skills.

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own stationery and memory sticks (where appropriate).
No essential costs. 

If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.


If you are successful at one level of Functional Skills you have the opportunity to return for a higher level the following year. Many students find this type of qualification suits them and prefer to take a higher level rather than a GCSE class. However, you will have the opportunity to do GCSEs if it is considered appropriate. You may be staying on at College to do higher level vocational courses or leave to take up employment.

Becky stayed on at College to follow an Intermediate level course in Health and Social Care. She was able to do this because her reading and writing skills had improved with courses such as Functional Skills.

Emma left College to take up a job as a nanny. Functional Skills helped her develop more confidence in listening and speaking.

You will be initially assessed to gauge the level most suited to develop your current skills. Thereafter, most students will be prepared for Entry Level, Level One and Level Two assessments. These will test reading, writing, comprehension, speaking and listening.

Some assessment is done in class, some using tests and some online. You will take a test with Edexcel for Reading and Writing when you have been assessed as competent. This will be externally marked. Speaking and Listening will be assessed in class by your teacher.