Functional Skills, GCSEs and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

Are your English, maths, and/or ICT skills a little rusty? Take the opportunity to improve your skills and achieve a recognised Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 (equivalent to a GCSE) Functional Skills qualification. Or perhaps you would you like to gain a full GCSE maths and/or English qualification? We can help.

Alternatively are you, or do you know, someone for whom English is not their first language and would like to study the English language from the very beginning? Our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses are perfect to help you/them begin to learn the English language.

Please visit our current Functional Skills offer using the links above. You will find entry requirements, assessment, exam and course specific information on each course page. For general information please navigate the page below.

Please navigate this page for all of the information you need.

Entry Requirements  Exams  Contact  Learner Information  Current Functional Skills Timetable

Initial Assessments and Entry Requirements


Before attending Functional Skills, GCSE and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses, both classroom and online based, you need to complete an initial assessment to check your current working level. Assessments are not a test and they free of charge. You will receive course joining instructions at this stage.

Initial assessments are held online every Friday, 1pm-3.30pm (excluding bank holidays and school holidays). You can also sit the assessment online, please contact us for details.

All Functional Skills and ESOL courses are free of charge providing you meet the following criteria:

  • Are aged 19 years or above;
  • Have been a UK, EU or EEA resident continuously for the previous three years;
  • Have the right to live and work in the UK, EU or EEA

If you do not meet any one of the three criteria listed, each level you study will be charged at £135. Entry requirements differ for ESOL courses, you will find more information on the ESOL page. GCSE courses are charged at £60 per course which is fully refunded upon completion of the course/s. 

The level at which you join Functional Skills is dependent on your results of the initial assessment and any previous qualifications you may hold. You will start you course after you have completed your assessment. You may incur a waiting period in between completing your assessment/s and starting lessons.

To book an initial assessment please call 01325 405601, call / text / WhatsApp 07932 869325, email l&[email protected] or message us through Facebook [external link], Twitter [external link] or Instagram [external link].



A requirement of Functional Skills, ESOL and GCSE courses, both classroom and online based courses, are to sit mandatory exams to achieve your qualification.

Your exams will take place at L&S at The Coleridge Centre or L&S at Bennet House in Darlington on a pre-arranged date and time. Under no circumstances can you sit your exam at home or at an alternative venue. Exams are now held online from our venues rather than paper based. You will be allocated time for exam practice.

GCSE exams are set nationally by the government and cannot be changed. Due to the nature of the ESOL qualification, ESOL exams are usually held in the lesson with the tutor present.

You can find specific exam information on each individual course page. 



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