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.
Functional Skills Qualifications (FSQs) in English and maths are currently being reformed. To find out more about what’s changing and why, and for up-to-date information on the progress reformed qualifications have made through the technical evaluation process, visit the Ofqual website.