Free Maths & English Courses For Adults – Do You Need To Retake GCSE Maths & English

Free Maths and English Courses

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Did you know that if you’re over 16 and you’ve left school, you’re entitled to free maths and English courses?

Why are the courses free?

The Government funds these courses because they provide essential skills for work or further education.

The majority of job roles require GCSE Maths and GCSE English grades 9 to 4 (or A* to C on the old grading system).

Pass grades in maths and English are also required for most further education courses. Examples where you need GCSE Maths and English pass grades to progress in education include;

  • To access higher education courses
  • To enrol on an access course
  • To enrol on an apprenticeship
  • To go to University

Did you fail GCSE maths or English? Or, not get a high enough grade for your education and career ambitions? There’s an alternative qualification that is the equivalent to a GCSE pass grade. They’re called Functional Skills courses.

What are Functional Skills courses?

Functional Skills courses are Government backed courses. They help people improve their skills for work and access higher education. Using real-life examples to help you improve your English, Maths and ICT skills. As well as being perfect for progressing in further education, or taking the next step in your career. Functional Skills courses also provide valuable skills for everyday life.

There are five levels in Functional Skills:

  • Entry Level 1
  • Entry Level 2
  • Entry Level 3
  • Level 1
  • Level 2

Functional Skills Level 2 is the same as a GCSE grade 9 to 4 (or A* to C on the old grading system).

Why choose Functional Skills instead of GCSE courses?

Functional Skills courses are a popular choice instead of GCSE courses. They’re flexible and you can plan your learning to a schedule that suits you.

The biggest disadvantage of retaking GCSE maths or English is having to sit your exams at the same time as GCSE pupils at school.

So if you’ve missed the GCSE exams, you’ll have to wait up to 6 months before you can resit GCSE maths or English.

Not ideal if you want to apply for a job or start an apprenticeship.

How to find out where you can study Functional Skills courses

You can study Functional Skills courses locally at:

  • Further education colleges
  • Adult education centres
  • Some libraries, children’s centres and other community venues
    other training providers

When to choose to pay for a Functional Skills course

While Functional Skills courses are free from a local training provider. They might not offer the flexibility or level of support you need. With some training providers, it can take up to 6 months to complete your course. Or, they may have learning centre attendance schedule that doesn’t fit your work or childcare commitments.



  • Ida G
    November 4, 2021 at 3:11 am


    Is there any online course to take this Level 1 and later Level 2 for Math and English?

    Kind regards,
    Ida G

  • Caroline long
    November 8, 2021 at 10:08 pm

    I’m currently working in health care and have been for many years, working in different settings such as , hospitals, residential, nursing homes. I would love to further my career and the only way I can do this is to re- take my maths and English to GCSE level (functional skills) I would be extremely grateful if you could put me in the right direction to achieve this, I understand this is free for adults, I would prefer to complete online courses, is this available? As having children at school etc… makes it difficult to travel. I currently work in a assisted living accommodation where I work 3 evenings a week, so mornings would be ideal to complete the courses. Many thanks.

  • Lynn Beanland
    November 17, 2021 at 1:06 am

    Hi i need to sit an online level 2 GCSE equivalent it says free, but then gives a monthly fee. I am currently on JSA is there any maths and English i can do please

  • Evelyn Ampadu
    November 17, 2021 at 1:17 am

    I was wondering if I can easily take the course

  • Ijeoma Madu
    November 19, 2021 at 2:07 pm

    I want more information on the English level 2


  • Tracey Anne Beard
    December 19, 2021 at 12:28 am

    I’m looking into being a nurse, or mental health nurse I have a b in English Bit failed my maths so can u direct me in the right direction please.

    December 26, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Hi I wanted to ask that is it possible for me to resit a GCSE Maths exam with you,I am currently unemployed at the moment and am looking for apprenticeships,and I need to get a C grade atleast.

  • Estella rule
    March 7, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    Hi im wondering if there is any maths and English gcse online courses please


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