Functional Skills - frequently asked questions
What are Functional Skills?
They are practical skills in English, mathematics and ICT that enable learners to deal with practical problems and challenges. They allow individuals to work confidently, effectively and independently in everyday life.
For example, they help us recognise good-value deals when making purchases, write an effective application letter, or use the Internet.
Functional skills are a key to success. They open doors to learning, to life and to work. These skills are valued by employers and further education and are a platform on which to build other employability skills. Better functional skills can mean a better future - as learners or as employees.
Functional skills are an essential part of the secondary curriculum and are embedded in the revised Programmes of Study for English, mathematics and ICT at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, and in the revised GCSE subject criteria for these subjects. They are a mandatory component of the Diploma, Foundation Learning and Apprenticeships. They are available as stand-alone qualifications for young people and adults.
Where can I find out about functional skills qualifications?
A list of accredited qualifications can be found on the Ofqual website
Only qualifications that fully meet the required standards can be accredited by Ofqual. More functional skills qualifications will become available as awarding organisations continue to submit specifications that meet the criteria.
What support is available for teachers and providers to help them deliver functional skills?
The Functional Skills Support programme (FSSP) is designed to prepare practitioners, leaders and managers to deliver functional skills. Support from FSSP is available free of charge to all schools, and is provided by National Strategies.
The Functional Skills Support Programme for post-16 providers officially closed at the end of August 2010. LSIS will continue to provide functional skills advice, materials and resources for post-16 providers until March 2011, pending the outcome of any review of the qualifications framework.
To find out more about functional skills, visit www.fssupport.org (please note that a new Government took office on the 11th of May 2010, and so the content of the site may not reflect current Government policy).
Where can I find a comprehensive list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on functional skills?
Visit the 14-19 Reform website (please note that a new Government took office on the 11th of May 2010, and so the content of the site may not reflect current Government policy).
The FAQ's include information on Functional Skills and Key Skills
For information on functional skills in apprenticeships, visit www.apprenticeships.org.uk