Functional Skills

Functional Skills

Functional Skills

Functional Skills is a suite of qualifications suitable for individuals to develop their English, mathematics or ICT skills in order to succeed in all aspects of life, work and other learning. They replaced the Key Skills Level 1 and 2 qualifications in September 2012. Available from Entry Level through to Level 2, the Functional Skills qualifications cover everything from the very basics to more advanced skills.

Functional skills qualifications are now integral in:
• GCSEs – in English, Mathematics and ICT and are included in key stage 3 and key stage 4 study programmes.
• Diplomas
• Foundation Learning
• A mandatory component in all apprenticeship frameworks –(click here to find out more)

Functional Skills are also available as stand-alone qualifications.

Our Functional Skills are supported by a variety of assessment options depending on the specific qualification taken and they bring real life scenarios with integrated interactive activities that allow and encourage learners to apply their Functional Skills in different contexts and situations. The Functional Skills assessments are available through a variety of awarding organisations. This ensures that the assessments are sufficiently flexible to meet the needs of a wide range of sectors including schools, colleges and organisations offering apprenticeships. Although the delivery of Functional Skills should be embedded into all curricula by using contextualised teaching materials, the assessments at Level 1 and level 2 will be neither embedded nor contextualised and will be graded as PASS/FAIL via a test. Level’s 1 and 2 assessments should be externally assessed and moderated, and carried out in exam conditions at the school or centre. Functional Skills English Speaking and Listening components will be internally assessed but externally moderated. In Functional Skills Maths assessments, candidates at all levels are allowed the use of a calculator. Functional Skills ICT assessments will require use of a computer with internet access.

Functional Skills English will cover:

Speaking, listening and communicating

Level 1 – Taking full part in formal and informal discussions that include unfamiliar topics
Level 2 – Make a range of contributions to discussions in a range of contexts,
including those that are unfamiliar, and make effective presentations


Level 1 – Reading and understanding a range of straightforward tasks
Level 2 – Select, read, understand and compare texts and use them to gather information, ideas, arguments and opinions.


Level 1 – Write a range of texts to communicate information, ideas and opinions, using formats and styles suitable for their purpose and audience.
Level 2 – Write a range of texts, including extended written documents, ideas and opinions, effectively and persuasively

Weaker students need to address specific areas that would help them gain additional marks in certain key areas, to give the student this advantage, our free functional skills English diagnostics assessment sheet will assist you doing this

Functional Skills Maths will cover:

Functional Skills Maths aims to ensure that each individual has a sufficient understanding of a range of mathematical concepts and is able to know how and when to use them. In a practical context, this means learners will develop the confidence and capability to:
• solve problems
• process calculations
• interpret and explaining situations

All within the following contexts of Functional Skills Maths: work and education, community, citizenship and environment, media and communication, and family, home and social issue.

Learners at functional skills maths will:
• Select the mathematics and information to model a situation
• Process the information using mathematics
• Interpret and communicate the results of the analysis

Weaker students need to address specific areas that would help them gain additional marks in certain key areas, to give the student this advantage, our free functional skills maths diagnostics assessment sheet will assist you doing this

Functional Skills ITC will cover:

Functional Skills ICT assessments will consist of tasks demanding independent use of all forms of ICT; problem solving, research and interpretation

At SMARTT, our Functional Skills provide help and support for young people to develop their skills and experience that employers are looking for in apprenticeships, work preparation or sustainable employment.

Our staff are available to assist or deliver Functional Skills on a sessional basis please contact us for further information

Functional Skills are currently only available within the UK – Scotland has an alternative skills programme – Core Skills (Scotland) and Wales – Essential Skills.

Functional Skills


“SMARTT have brought more than a qualification to the Academy. The value they add to student learning and motivation cannot be underestimated. 100% attendance and 100% pass rate”.

          Sue Collings Strategic Director Academy 360, Sunderland