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Support for learners and providers

Foundation Learning

Learners on Foundation Learning programmes may need support in order to develop and achieve functional skills. Teachers who are specialists in both Foundation Learning and functional skills will be required. Find out more about Foundation Learning.

Access for all

The adult core curriculum forms the basic curriculum that underpins functional skills teaching and learning. It is supported by Access for All, which gives detailed guidance on making the curriculum accessible to learners with a range of learning difficulties and disabilities:

  • Learners who are deaf or partially hearing
  • Learners who are blind or partially sighted
  • Learners who have mental health problems
  • Learners with dyslexia and related specific difficulties
  • Learners with physical disabilities
  • Learners with learning difficulties
  • Learners with autistic spectrum disorders

Guidance is integrated within the core curriculumPDF versions of the Core Curriculum guidance are also available on the RWP website.

English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)

ESOL learners may need English language support to access functional skills learning in English, mathematics or ICT. ESOL-trained teachers may need to support functional skills teaching. Learning support may also be required, but awareness of the issues faced by learners will enhance teaching. An ESOL specialist will be able to support teachers by running awareness training and providing specific support.

Reasonable adjustments for final assessment

Ofqual’s functional skills assessment criteria of November 2009 (Ofqual 09/4558) state that:

Functional Skills qualifications and assessment must be designed to be inclusive and to minimise any later need to make reasonable adjustments or exemptions.”

It also says:

Where necessary, awarding organisations should make reasonable adjustments so that candidates with disabilities can access assessment. These should ensure that candidates are not given an unfair advantage or disadvantage compared with candidates not using reasonable adjustments, or invalidate the assessment requirements set out in the specification.”

Specific information relates to English:

In functional skills English where barriers to access remain, awarding organisations must offer candidates with disabilities, as a last resort, exemptions from individual assessment components within the qualification.”

You will need to contact your awarding organisation for advice about particular learners’ assessment needs, including learners with dyslexia, or learners who are deaf, partially hearing, blind or partially sighted.

Support for providers

For 2011–12, there is support for work-based learning providers and functional skills from the LSIS Support for literacy, language and numeracy (SfLLN) regional programmes. Find information on the SfLLN main menu page about what is available and how to apply.