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English and maths

NCFE Homework (1)

Sector insights

English and maths skills are key to laying the foundations for learners to progress in their learning, lives and work. Everyone should have access to developing their knowledge in English and maths, particularly with the emphasis placed on ensuring these subjects are embedded as part of wider learning programmes including T Levels, apprenticeships and traineeships. 

Research commissioned by NCFE in 2019 showed that 68% of people think learners should be given the option to take alternative exams other than GCSEs. Our English and maths provision supports schools, colleges and training providers with alternative options, opening the door for their learners to achieve and succeed in these vital subjects.

Essential English and maths in everyday life

Essential English and maths in everyday life qualifications are a brand-new option for your learners who are looking for an alternative route to gaining the core English and maths skills that they’ll need in everyday life. Built around the Functional Skills subject content, these qualifications allow you to build a flexible learning programme that collects evidence of achievement along the way, rather than through a final assessment.

We’ve been committed to playing our part in improving the literacy and numeracy skills of learners of all backgrounds since 1848, and we’re therefore delighted to have partnered with The Prince’s Trust to ensure that all funds from these qualifications will be donated to their literacy, language and numeracy programme.

Qualification spotlight

Functional Skills qualifications are available for English, maths and ICT from entry Level 1 to Level 2. With our flexible on demand assessments, including remote invigilation and 6-day result turnaround, our Functional Skills are ideal for apprenticeship providers, colleges, training providers and schools. We offer free tutor support and a host of teaching and learning resources for all delivery styles. 

Bite-sized English and maths solutions allow you to build a flexible learning programme that can be used as intervention, confidence building and as alternative qualifications. These qualifications are ideal for SEND, ESOL and disengaged learners who will benefit from content that’s practical in nature. You can mix and match these from a huge range of units. We are currently redeveloping these qualifications for a relaunch in August, which will include new resources and an exciting announcement – watch this space!

Skills Builder is a comprehensive initial assessment and diagnostic solution that can support your Functional Skills delivery. The assessment will determine your learners’ current level in Functional Skills for all subjects and GCSE English and maths. With One Assessment, you can assess your learners’ English and maths in a single 30-minute assessment and tailor it for both Functional Skills and GCSE. The system can provide an individual skills plan complete with resources that supports the learner in their progression, and as a tutor you can measure the distance travelled by each learner. Complete with a quality dashboard that provides all the reporting you need, Skills Builder is the perfect tool for all providers delivering English and maths.

Girl Reading A Text Book
Plan your curriculum 

View our progression route map to see how our range of English and maths qualifications connect to support your curriculum planning and learner progression.   

Case study: Supporting learner success at Darlington College 

Sean Maguire, Programme Leader at Darlington College, said: “Within our department, we had discussed how we could supplement our learners’ studies to help them gain valuable English and maths skills, that would not only help them whilst they were with us, but also give them skills to use in their everyday lives. We chose NCFE’s bite-sized units as they use real life examples, which allow learners to develop transferable skills.” 

Our bite-sized solutions offer personal intervention for learners and allow for educators to target specific areas for development with short and manageable units. Completing each unit is a great way to boost confidence and engage them in education in a practical way. 

Sean said: “Offering NCFE’s bite-sized units has been particularly beneficial to many of our learners who have specific learning needs such as autism. Without essential skills in maths and English, our learners wouldn’t be able to easily progress into work or onto further education. We’ve found that many learners have been able to go into employment or further study in sectors such as catering, joinery and business.” 

Darlington College originally delivered bite-sized English and maths as a supplement to other qualifications, but now embed these units so they are part of an integrated programme of learning. 

Read the case study 

We chose NCFE’s bite-sized units as they use real life examples, which allow learners to develop transferable skills.

Sean Maguire, Programme Leader at Darlington College