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What are Functional Skills?

Functional skills are practical skills in English, mathematics and digital that enable learners to deal with practical problems and challenges.

They allow individuals to work confidently, effectively and independently in everyday life, and provide a platform on which to build other employability skills.

Functional skills are an essential part of the secondary curriculum and are embedded in the Programmes of Study for English, mathematics and ICT at Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, and in the GCSE subject criteria for these subjects. They are a mandatory component of Apprenticeships. They are available as stand-alone qualifications for young people and adults.

Functional Skills Qualifications (FSQs) in English and maths were reformed in 2021. To find out more about functional skills, visit the Ofqual website.

Further Information

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