What are the Functional Skills?

Functional Skills qualifications provide reliable evidence of a learner’s achievements against demanding content that is relevant to the workplace.  The qualifications assess learners’ underpinning subject knowledge and their ability to apply this knowledge to different contexts.  They provide a foundation for progression to employment and further technical education and they help learners to develop skills for everyday life Functional Skills qualifications are based on Department for Education (DfE) approved subject content and are regulated by Ofqual.

There are different levels of Functional Skills Qualifications:

  • Entry Level 1
  • Entry Level 2
  • Entry Level 3
  • Level 1
  • Level 2

Entry-level 1-3 is below GCSE level, Level 1 is equivalent to GCSE grades 1-3 and Level 2 is comparable to GCSE grade 4.

Which qualifications are offered at ACE?

There are four functionals skills qualifications available to students leading up to their GSCE exams:

Functional Skills Mathematics Level 1 & Functional Skills Mathematics Level 2

Functional Skills English Level 1 & Functional Skills English Level 2

How will my child be assessed?

Mathematicsthere are 2 papers. 1 calculator paper and 1 non calculator  
Englishthere are 2 papers 1 reading (comprehension) paper and 1 writing paper. Included with the English qualification is a Speaking & Listening exam.  Students speak for 8 minutes to an audience of their peer. This is filmed and marked by the examiners

The speaking and listening element is an important part of the qualification and without it the qualification is incomplete.

How will my child be notified of their exam?

  • Students will be told by their teacher that they have been entered for an exam and will be told the exam week. 
  • An email will be sent to students detailing the exam date and time
  • A timetable is placed on the exam notice board in the ground floor corridor
  • Coaches will be notified and discuss exam dates with students
  • An email will be sent home to notify parents/carer’s
  • A follow up text message will be sent to parent/carer’s

When will my child receive their results?

All Functional Skills Assessments are graded as either pass or fail. There isn’t any coursework or portfolio-based elements, and the qualification result is based solely on exam papers.

Exam papers are sent to the exam board and results are received within 28 days.  Your child’s teacher will let your child know their results.

All students who pass will be provided with a Functional Skills Award Certificate

What happens if my child fails?

If your child does not pass their exam, they will be supported by their teacher and reentered only when the teacher feels that they are ready to take the exam again.

What happens if my child is absent?

Schools are expected to spend public funds responsible and particularly in the current climate budgets are very tight.  It is therefore important that your child attends for an exam that they are entered for.  Schools are not issued refunds for exams where students have not attended.

If your child is absent from an exam on more than one occasion without a valid reason the Exam Office will not automatically make the entry requested by your teacher. 

What are the next steps after Functional Skills?

ACE aims to support all students to ensure readiness for GCSE qualifications.  Students will be entered for GCSE Mathematics and English automatically.  Functional Skills will have provided the necessary stepping stone for the GCSE qualification.

It is important to note that regular attendance to lesson and good engagement will provide your child with the best chance of succeeding in both functional skills and their GCSE exams.