FUNCTIONAL SKILLS ENGLISH Functional Skills English specifications must use the subject content listed for each level and reflect the learning aims and outcomes set out at each level.
In interpreting the content, Awarding Organisations should note that the content at each level of qualification subsumes and builds upon the content at lower levels.
‘Speaking, listening and communicating’ within Functional Skills English qualifications is non-written communication, normally conducted face-to-face, and can also include ‘virtual’ communication methods such as telephone or spoken web-based technologies.
The terms ‘speaking, listening and communicating’ are intended to be interpreted in a broad, inclusive way and are not intended to create any unnecessary barriers to
students with speech or hearing impairment.
‘Reading’ within Functional Skills English qualifications is defined as the independent understanding of written language in specific contexts. This can be demonstrated through the use of texts on screen or on paper.
‘Writing’ within Functional Skills English qualifications is defined as the independent construction of written language to communicate in specific contexts. Text can be written on paper or electronically.
Teaching methods should be based on the best available evidence for effective methods to support students to gain these skills. The structured teaching of phonics should be used to teach students at Entry Levels for ‘Reading’ and ‘Writing’.


Functional Skills qualifications should provide reliable evidence of a student’s achievements against demanding content that is relevant to the workplace. They need
to provide assessment of students’ underpinning knowledge as well as their ability to apply this in different contexts. They also need to provide a foundation for progression into employment or further technical education and develop skills for everyday life. In some contexts, Functional Skills qualifications will also play a part in the Government’s accountability systems.
A key aim for Functional Skills English specifications is that they should enable the student to develop confidence and fluency in, and a positive attitude towards, English. Students should be able to demonstrate their competence in English by using it in realworld situations as well as demonstrating a sound grasp of basic English knowledge and skills.
Purpose of Functional Skills English for Entry Levels: a qualification to demonstrate the ability at an appropriate level to read, write, speak, listen and communicate in English, and to apply this knowledge and these skills in familiar situations. Achievement of these qualifications can provide the basis for further study at Levels 1 and 2. Purpose of Functional Skills English for Level 1 and Level 2: a qualification for work, study and life. Achievement of the qualification demonstrates the ability at an appropriate level to read, write, speak, listen and communicate in English, and to apply these skills effectively to a range of purposes in the workplace and in other real life situations.
Learning aims and outcomes at Entry Level Functional Skills English qualifications at these levels indicate that students should be
able to speak, listen, communicate, read and write with increasing clarity, accuracy and effectiveness at each level. They should be able to:
• Listen, understand and respond to verbal communication in a range of familiar contexts;
• Acquire an understanding of everyday words and their uses and effects, and apply this understanding in different contexts;
• Read with accuracy straightforward texts encountered in everyday life and work, and develop confidence to read more widely; and
• Write straightforward texts and documents with clarity and effectiveness, and demonstrate a sound grasp of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Students should, with some direction and guidance, be able to apply these functional skills to informal and some formal contexts, in familiar situations.