Cookie Consent by Privacy Policies Generator website

Functional Skills English

Entry Requirements

  • Are aged 19 years or older;
  • 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

Who is this course for?

This course is suitable for those who do not currently hold an English qualification, who has an English qualification below GCSE level or for those who want to further improve their English skills. The emphasis is on building up the basics to continue on to higher levels. Improved communication, reading and writing skills will assist in seeking or improving your employability. You will learn in a friendly, supportive online environment and at a pace to suit your needs.

Curriculum Intent

The design and delivery of the curriculum in this course will enable learners to up-skill and develop confidence in using English which will support them to enter employment, return to work or progress to further learning. Each level of Functional Skills English builds on the previous level up to the completion of a Level 2 qualification. These qualifications are nationally recognised.

Initial Assessments

  • You must sit an assessment to join an English course
  • Assessments are held every Friday between 1pm-3.30pm at the Coleridge Centre. You can also sit the assessment online if you cannot come in-centre. Assessments are not held on bank holidays or during school holidays
  • Assessments take approximately 1 hour
  • The level at which you join an English course is dependent on your results of the initial assessment and any previous qualifications you may hold
  • You may incur a waiting period in between completing your assessment and starting lessons


We offer English at the following levels:

  • Entry Level 1
  • Entry Level 2
  • Entry Level 3
  • Level 1 (equivalent to GCSE grade 1-3 / old graded D-G)
  • Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE grade 4 / old grade C)

Course Content

Entry Level

  • Punctuation and grammar
  • Communicating by email and letter
  • Writing a CV and presenting information in sequence
  • Sentence construction
  • Understanding texts
  • Writing and reading skills
  • Speaking and listening skills

Level 1 / Level 2

  • Punctuation and grammar
  • Understanding the purpose of texts
  • Writing for purpose using correct language, layout, style and conventions
  • Homophones for improved spelling
  • Persuasive, informative, descriptive and instructional texts
  • Sentence construction - get your message across clearly and logically
  • Root words, prefixes, suffixes for spelling and meaning of words
  • Verbs, tenses - improve your writing
  • Fact, opinion, bias - reading between the lines
  • Writing and reading skills - write reports, articles, leaflets, formal letters
  • Speaking and listening skills - create and present a presentation and take part in group discussions

Time and Location

  • You will attend one 2 to 3 hour lesson per week at the Coleridge Centre in Skerne Park, Darlington
  • English courses are roll on/roll off - there is no set start or end date and you will work at your own pace
  • Courses are held on a variety of days and times


Please bring:

  • a notepad
  • a pen (or a digital device) to take notes
  • a file to store your work


This course is free of charge, providing you meet the eligibility criteria above. If you do not meet any one of the three criteria listed, each level you study will be charged at £135 and the assessment will be charged at £20.


  • You must sit a mandatory exams to achieve your qualification
  • Exams take place at The Coleridge Centre or Bennet House in Darlington
  • Under no circumstances can you sit your exam at home or at any other venue
  • Exams for Functional Skills in England are set by the Department for Education in cooperation with national exam boards. There are no nationally set dates and times for functional skills exams, you will only sit an exam after a period of study when your tutor and yourself mutually agree you are exam ready
  • English exams take approximately two hours to complete


After this course has finished you may like to progress to the next level in English which might be a higher Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2. You may also wish to join other courses delivered by Learning & Skills across a variety of areas. 

What do I do next?

Please contact us to book an initial assessment on 01325 405601, 07932 869325 or l&[email protected]and please let us know if you have been referred from the Job Centre.

Install our web app.