Ceri Fishlock

ESOL quals and/or functional skills


Years ago there was a definitely rule around ESOL learners not doing functional skills unless they had achieved ESOL quals at level 2.  I can't see anything around that now.  Can ESOL learners do functional skills if their English is good enough?  I wouldn't expect learners with low level English to be doing functional skills but someone who's speaking, reading and writing means they could do a functional skill instead seems, to me, to be acceptable.  Is that the case? 

Also can a learner be funded to do an ESOL qual and a functional skills qual at the same time?

We are starting to have ESOL learners telling us they don't want to do ESOL quals as their employer is saying they will only accept functional skills.


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Steve Hewitt

Definitely not a problem for them to do FS (certain providers have moved over exclusively to FS, because it's automatically free, although with the low wage waiver I suspect that's less of an issue), would be a bit wary about someone doing FS English and ESOL quals *at the same time* but I don't think there's explicitly a rule *against* it, I'd definitely want separate registers, even if it was 9.30-11 ESOL, 11-12.30 FS? Also, clear IAG/Initial Assessment to show why it's a good idea/that there's different things being learnt. Also also, as always, if it's a handful of learners with good educational reasons for it, rather than whole cohorts, it's more defendable.


Margaret Foster

Hi Steve  Being new to Community Learning - can you tell me if you can as a learner be on FM10 and FM35 at the same time?



Steve Hewitt

Yup, no problem at all, some might say encouraged! :)