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Functional Skills and Core Maths

Updated 19 November

Functional Skills (3748 legacy) & (4748 reformed) –
Covid-19

Updated 19 November, Functional Skills – Exam Support Service (ESS)

The ESFA announced on Friday 13 November that the DfE’s Exam Support Service (ESS) has been extended to include Functional Skills in apprenticeships, where assessments were planned to be delivered in the workplace.

The current government advice on Covid-19 confirms that travel for education, training and assessment is allowable under current restrictions, and the Exam Support Service provides financial support for providers with essential additional costs associated with running exams. In this case apprenticeship training providers will be able to access the service to book sites and invigilators for Functional Skills exams and claim costs for eligible apprentices.

To be eligible, the apprentice must:

  • have been expecting to take their FSQ assessment in the workplace
  • have a planned end date between 1 August – 31 December 2020
  • not be otherwise able to access an FSQ assessment.

Read the full announcement

Read the full guidance on the Exam Support Service

Guidance is due to be updated in November to include Functional Skills and information about eligibility and the claiming process.

If you are considering using an external venue and would like some support from us with this, please let us know by filling out the form.

Fill out the form


Updated 21 October, New assessment mitigation guidance now available

Please visit our FY20/21 Adaptations webpage to access the new Functional Skills guidance document.


Functional Skills paper-based exams will be available to take from 1 August.

Bookings for paper-based Level 1 & 2 Functional Skills exams will open 18 July for sitting from 1 August onward.

For 4748, remote assessment for speaking, listening and  communicating can continue provided that all criteria are met.

There is now no need to continue using the interim exceptions process for booking live tests. 

14 October 2020 - Important updates for Functional Skills and End-Point Assessment

On 14 October 2020 it was confirmed that extensions to Legacy Functional Skills would be put in place to 31 July 2021. The temporary suspension of the rule requiring level 2 apprentices to study towards, and attempt, level 2 functional skills exams to 31 March 2021 was also confirmed.

Read the guidance

29 September 2020 - Functional Skills testing

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, we understand the challenges that you and your learners may be facing with regard to testing and assessment, particularly as a result of social distancing and local restrictions.

For 2020-21 government intent is that that assessments should continue as usual and, where possible, are delivered in the normal way.

We have been listening closely to your feedback and are keen to support you with a range of assessment options during the ongoing situation that we are all facing with Covid-19.

The following options for Functional Skills testing are currently available:

  • e-volve tests – As we have always offered, we will continue to offer on-demand Functional Skills onscreen tests through our e-volve platform
  • Tests at an employer site –  We have enabled testing at an employer site where this is possible.
  • Remote Invigilation – We are currently working with a small number of customers on a full remote invigilation solution, we hope to be able to roll this out to all Functional Skills customers within the next few months.  We will provide an update on this in the coming weeks.
  • Paper tests – We continue to offer paper tests.
  • Network of testing sites - We are currently exploring the possibility of opening up a number of City & Guilds testing sites around the country to support our customers, please let us know if this solution would be good for you.
  • Remote speaking, listening and communicating (English only) – This component can now be assessed remotely.  Guidance documents for each level can be found here, in the “Speaking, Listening and Communicating Assessment Materials” accordion for the relevant level, under the Assessment Documents menu.

If you wanted to speak to our teams on the options above please contact your City & Guilds contact (account manager or business manager).

For more information on the full remote invigilation service that is currently in development visit our dedicated page.

Essential Skills

For information on Essential Skills including updates and guidance on assessment approaches please visit our dedicated page which covers Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Using and Applying Mathematics

Further information relating to Using and Applying Mathematics for 2020-21 will follow shortly.