Functional Skills Reforms

As you may be aware Functional Skills Qualifications in English and mathematics are being reformed and the new qualifications will be introduced for first teaching in September 2019.

Gateway Qualifications has taken the decision not to offer the new qualifications and also to withdraw its Information Communication Technology (ICT) Functional Skills qualification offer at the same time.

English, Maths and Basic Digital Skills

We recognise the importance of English and maths to our centres and learners and remain committed to encouraging their development. We are currently investigating how we might further support learners through our English and maths suite of bite-sized units and our vocational and employability qualifications at level 2 and below.

We are also developing a new suite of Basic Digital Skills to meet the DfE basic skills agenda and proposed entitlement for adults from 2020. If you would like to contribute to the review on English and maths and/or input to the development of the basic skills qualifications please contact and one of our qualifications development team will contact you.

Withdrawal of Functional Skills Qualifications

Gateway Qualifications will be withdrawing the following qualifications, with an operational end date (last date for new starts) for the qualifications of 31 August 2019. The final assessment date including resits will be 30 November 2019. The final moderation date will be 7 December 2019 and the final certification date will be 31 December 2019.

Functional Skills Qualifications in English

Functional Skills Qualifications in Maths

Functional Skills Qualifications in ICT

What you should do now

If you are currently delivering Functional Skills, you can continue to do so up until the following deadlines:

  • operational end date (last date for new starts) for the qualifications: 31 August 2019
  • final assessment date including resits: 30 November 2019
  • final moderation date: 7 December 2019
  • final certification date: 31 December 2019.

Assessment papers will continue to be made available in all subjects to enable learners to complete their qualifications by these deadlines.

You may want to consider replacing your Functional Skills offer or taking part in our reviews of English, maths and basic digital skills. If you would like to take part in any, or all, of these reviews please email and we will be in touch.

Frequently Asked Questions for Learners on Functional Skills Qualifications

We have also produced the following information for learners affected by the withdrawal of our Functional Skills qualifications, which you are welcome to use in your communications with learners.

If you are currently studying on a Gateway Qualifications Functional Skills qualification, or are thinking of starting one, you may have some questions about what the withdrawal means for you. In most cases you should speak to your college or training provider about their future plans as they will be best placed to advise you, however we have tried to answer the most common questions below.

What should I do if I’m part of the way through my course?
Carry on as normal! You have until the final assessment date of 30 November 2019 to complete your course and any assessments and resits that may be required. If you need to continue with Functional Skills beyond this time you should talk to your college or training provider about this.

Will what I’ve achieved so far on my Gateway Qualifications Functional Skills course be recognised if I’m transferred to another Functional Skills course?
Yes, all Awarding Organisations will have a process for recognising prior learning and achievement. You should speak to your college or training provider about this as they will need to contact the new Functional Skills provider to follow their process.

I wanted to start a Functional Skills course but now I’m not sure if I should?
You should talk to your college or training provider about the most appropriate option for you. There are several options which may be available, depending on your individual circumstances. For example, our bite-sized English and Maths qualifications from Entry Level 3 to Level 2 are suitable for use to prepare you for Functional Skills or GCSE.  Alternatively, if English is not your first language, our ESOL qualifications may be suitable.

Will my Gateway Qualifications Functional Skills certificate still be accepted when I apply for jobs or further learning?
Yes, your certificate is a record of your achievement of a Functional Skills qualification and that does not change just because Gateway Qualifications will no longer be offering Functional Skills. We provide a free-of-charge online tool to check the authenticity of a certificate if required.

Who should I contact if I have any further questions?
Your first point of contact should be your college or training provider. They are best placed to understand your situation and let you know about their plans for teaching Functional Skills in the future.