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English and maths

English and maths skills are key to laying the foundations for learners to progress in their learning, lives and work. 

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.  

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Qualification spotlight

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. 

Functional Skills qualifications give you the option to offer GCSE English and maths alternatives to your learners and we offer the full suite of qualifications from entry level 1 – level 2. Functional Skills are suitable for all organisations, including schools, colleges and training providers. We’re able to support with both online and offline assessment options. 

Core Maths qualification - ideal for students who need to bridge the gap between GCSE and higher education. This level 3 certificate supports post-16 learners with the development of their maths knowledge in order to progress to further academic or vocational education, or employment. 

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.   

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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. 

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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