Working in Further Education

The Role of a Functional Skills Tutor: Responsibilities, Requirements, and Benefits

February 13, 2023

Table of Contents

The role of a functional skills tutor is an important one, and there are many responsibilities and requirements that come with the job. For those considering working in this area or who have already taken up such a role, it’s essential to understand what these entail. In this blog post we will explore the qualifications and requirements for being a functional skills tutor as well as their duties within the further education sector. We will also look at potential benefits associated with taking on such work, alongside any challenges they may face while doing so.

What is a functional skills tutor?

A Functional Skills Tutor specialises in teaching practical skills in English, mathematics, and ICT, which are essential for living, learning, and working. They focus on equipping learners with practical skills and understanding, often tailoring lessons to individual needs, thereby enhancing their ability to apply these skills in everyday and professional scenarios.

How do I become a finctional skills tutor?

1. Get the Right Qualifications and Certificates

To become a functional skills tutor, you must have at least a Level 3 qualification in literacy and numeracy. This can be achieved through an accredited college or university course. Alternatively, you may have gained the necessary qualifications from your previous work experience.

Functional skills tutors must hold relevant certifications to demonstrate their competence and ability to teach effectively. These include certificates such as Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) and Certificate of Education (Cert Ed). Additionally, having additional qualifications related to specific subject areas may help increase your chances of being successful when applying for this role.

Having the right qualifications and experience is essential for a successful Functional Skills Tutor. With these in place, they can then focus on their responsibilities to teach and assess learners, develop learning materials, and monitor progress.

Become a functional skills tutor. You'll need Level 3 qualifications in literacy & numeracy, teaching experience & relevant certifications. #FunctionalSkillsTutor

2. Gaining Work Experience

Before embarking on a career as a functional skills tutor, gaining relevant teaching experience is highly beneficial. This experience can be acquired through roles such as a teacher’s assistant or through volunteer work in educational settings like libraries or youth centers. Familiarity with the curriculum and assessment methods in further education is also advantageous when applying for a functional skills tutor role.

Teaching and Assessment Responsibilities
As a functional skills tutor, your core responsibility is to impart essential knowledge and skills to learners, aiding their success in studies. This involves assessing their progress, providing constructive feedback, and identifying areas for improvement. Developing individualized strategies to help learners achieve their goals is a key aspect of this role.

Creating Engaging Learning Materials
Developing engaging and informative learning materials tailored to each learner's needs is crucial. This includes preparing lesson plans, worksheets, activities, assessments, and digital resources like videos and handouts.

Tracking and Evaluating Learner Progress
Monitoring each learner's progress is essential. This involves analyzing test scores and other assessment data to gauge achievement against set standards and objectives. Evaluating test and assignment results helps identify where learners may require additional support, allowing you to adjust your teaching strategies for optimal learning outcomes.

The Role of Functional Skills Tutors
Functional Skills Tutors play a vital role in delivering effective teaching and assessment, ensuring learners meet their educational goals. The following section will delve into the typical working environment for Functional Skills Tutors.

Are you looking to become a functional skills tutor? Learn about the responsibilities and requirements for teaching and assessing learners, developing learning materials, and tracking progress. #FunctionalSkillsTutor #Education

3. Work Across Learning Environments

Functional Skills Tutors may find themselves working in a variety of environments, including classroom settings and online platforms.

Classroom Settings: Working in a traditional classroom setting is often the most common type of environment for Functional Skills Tutors. In this type of setting, tutors are responsible for delivering lessons to learners face-to-face. This allows them to observe and assess their students’ progress more closely than they would be able to do online or through distance learning. It also gives them the opportunity to build relationships with their students, which can help create an atmosphere conducive to learning. However, it does require that tutors have good organizational skills and time management abilities as well as strong interpersonal skills in order to effectively manage a class full of learners.

Online Platforms: With advances in technology, many Functional Skills Tutors now work on online platforms such as video conferencing tools or virtual classrooms where they can deliver lessons remotely from anywhere around the world. This provides greater flexibility for both tutors and learners alike but requires different teaching techniques compared to those used in a traditional classroom setting due to the lack of physical interaction between tutor and learner. Online platforms also allow tutors access to more resources than what is available offline which can be beneficial when creating lesson plans or providing additional support materials for their students if needed.

Functional Skills Tutors can find themselves working in a variety of different settings, ranging from the traditional classroom to online platforms. With the right environment and tools, tutors can find their job rewarding and fulfilling. Next we will discuss some of the benefits that come with being a Functional Skills Tutor.

Key Takeaway: Functional Skills Tutors must have strong organizational, interpersonal and time management skills to effectively teach in either a traditional classroom setting or online platform. They should also be able to adapt their teaching techniques accordingly.

What are the benefits of being a Functional Skills Tutor?

Being a functional skills tutor can be incredibly rewarding. Not only do you get to help others learn and grow, but there are also many benefits that come with the job.

Job Satisfaction and Fulfillment

Functional skills tutors have the unique opportunity to watch their students progress over time as they gain knowledge and confidence in their abilities. This is especially true when working with adult learners who may have had negative experiences in school or lack self-confidence due to past failures. Seeing these individuals succeed through your guidance can bring great satisfaction and fulfillment. Additionally, being able to share your own expertise while inspiring others is an invaluable experience that few other jobs offer.

Career Development Opportunities

The field of functional skills teaching offers plenty of opportunities for career development as well. Tutors often have the chance to work with different types of learners, such as those with special needs or from diverse backgrounds, which can give them valuable insight into how best to reach out and engage these groups effectively. Furthermore, tutors may also receive additional training on topics like assessment techniques or educational technology tools which could open up new avenues for professional growth within this sector.

Being a Functional Skills Tutor provides job satisfaction and career development opportunities, but it is important to be aware of the challenges that come with the role such as keeping up with curriculum changes and managing time effectively.

Functional skills tutors have the unique opportunity to help others learn and grow while also gaining job satisfaction & career development opportunities. #functionallearning #teachingjobs

What are the challenges of being a Functional Skills Tutor?

Functional skills tutors face many challenges in their roles. Keeping up with changes in the curriculum and standards is one of them. With new government initiatives, policies, and regulations being introduced regularly, it can be difficult for functional skills tutors to stay on top of all the updates. It’s important that they keep abreast of any changes so they can provide accurate guidance to learners.

Managing time effectively is another challenge for functional skills tutors. They must balance teaching, assessing, and preparing materials within a limited timeframe while ensuring that each task receives adequate attention. This requires good organizational skills as well as an understanding of how best to allocate resources such as staff or equipment. Tutors also need to be able to prioritize tasks according to urgency or importance so they don’t get overwhelmed by competing demands on their time and energy.

Finally, functional skills tutors may find it difficult to motivate learners who lack enthusiasm or have difficulty focusing during lessons due to personal issues or learning difficulties such as dyslexia or ADHD. In these cases, the tutor needs patience and creativity when developing strategies for engaging students in order to ensure successful outcomes from their sessions together. This requires an understanding of each learner's individual needs and challenges as well as a willingness to adjust teaching methods accordingly.

Functional skills tutors must stay up-to-date with changes in the curriculum, manage their time effectively & find creative ways to engage learners. #tutoring #furthereducation


What are the duties and responsibilities of a Tutor?

Tutors are responsible for helping students learn and develop their skills in a particular subject. They must create lesson plans, assess student progress, provide feedback to students on their work, and motivate them to reach their goals. Tutors also need to be able to explain complex concepts in an understandable way and adapt teaching methods according to the individual needs of each student. Additionally, tutors should keep up-to-date with changes in the field they teach so that they can give accurate advice and guidance.

How can I teach functional skills?

Teaching functional skills requires a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter and an ability to effectively communicate it to learners. It is important to create engaging lessons that focus on practical application, as well as providing opportunities for learners to develop their knowledge through discussion and activities. When teaching functional skills, it is essential to ensure all learners have access to the resources they need in order for them to understand the material. Additionally, providing feedback throughout the lesson can help reinforce learning objectives and give students an opportunity for self-reflection. Finally, using technology such as online tools or interactive whiteboards can be beneficial in helping engage learners with complex topics.

Example of “what should I write in a Tutor role description on a CV”?

As a tutor, I specialise in helping students of all ages and backgrounds to develop their skills and knowledge in the further education sector. My goal is to provide an engaging learning experience that helps learners reach their full potential. With my expertise, I can help you identify your goals and create a plan for achieving them. Whether it’s teaching new concepts or reviewing existing material, I strive to make sure each student understands the material fully before moving on. My focus is always on creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable asking questions and participating actively in the learning process.

What is the purpose of functional skills?

Functional Skills are qualifications that help learners develop the practical skills they need to progress in education, work and life. They cover essential areas such as communication, application of number and digital literacy. Functional Skills provide a foundation for further learning, enabling learners to apply their knowledge and understanding in different contexts. The qualifications also equip employers with confident employees who have the ability to use relevant skills effectively in their job roles. Ultimately, Functional Skills give individuals the confidence and capability needed to reach their full potential.

Useful Resources

If you've enjoyed this article, you might also find the following resources useful for diving deeper into the world of tutor jobs:

  1. Exploring Tutor Jobs: Gain insights into what tutoring jobs entail, including the kinds of opportunities available and how to get started.
  2. Essential Skills & Tips for Successful Tutoring Jobs: Learn the key skills and strategies that can set you up for success in tutoring roles.
  3. Tutor CV with Template: Build a compelling CV with the help of our guide and included template, specifically designed for aspiring tutors.
  4. Tutor Interview Questions and Answers: Prepare for your tutoring job interviews with these common questions and suggested answers.
  5. Tutor Job Description: Understand what is expected of a tutor, from responsibilities to qualifications, with this detailed job description.
  6. Tutor Jobs on Our Job Board: Ready to take the leap into tutoring? Browse through our job board to find the latest opportunities in this field.


In conclusion, the role of a functional skills tutor is an important one in the further education sector. It requires specific qualifications and certifications, as well as a commitment to helping learners reach their goals. Functional skills tutors have many responsibilities that include designing and delivering lessons, assessing learner progress, providing feedback and support to learners, and ensuring compliance with regulations. The working environment for functional skills tutors can vary depending on the institution or organization they work for but generally includes classrooms or online learning platforms. There are also numerous benefits to being a functional skills tutor such as job satisfaction from helping others achieve their educational goals and gaining valuable experience in teaching and assessment. However, there are also challenges associated with this role such as dealing with difficult students or managing large class sizes which require patience and resilience. Ultimately though, the role of a functional skills tutor can be extremely rewarding both professionally and personally if you have what it takes.

Are you looking for a job in the further education, skills and learning sector? Bolt Jobs is here to make it easier! Our platform helps connect employers with talented professionals who have the right qualifications and experience. You can find a range of Functional Skills Tutor Jobs on our website. Become a functional skills tutor today and take advantage of our unique resources that will help you meet your responsibilities while advancing your career. Sign up now on Bolt Jobs and start searching for jobs in this growing field!

Alex Lockey
Director | Bolt Jobs
Founder Alex Lockey is an expert in further education, learning, and skills sector. He leads cost-effective hiring solutions and is known for successful talent placements. Dynamic and driven, Alex seeks innovative solutions to solve sector hiring challenges.