Recycling and rubbish collection days are also changing for some households in Mendip and South Somerset. Read about the changes and how they may affect you.


Sometimes things do not go as plan. After getting your exam results you may want to retake some subjects or look into different ways to study and learn the vital skills you need for work and life.

There is no set time to achieve your maths and English. Some people get their maths and English first time round. For some people it can take a good few years.

You can often retake your maths and English alongside a course at college. You can also do this at evening classes from age 18 – some will accept you from age 16.

Access arrangements

It is worth remembering you may qualify for help – known as ‘access arrangements’ – in public examinations if you have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities.

The most common arrangements are for extra time, or provision of a computer, or a person to read or write for the pupil – except for exams that specifically test these skills, such as English. If you have not had this but feel you would have passed with different arrangements, then to talk to your teacher, SENCO and tutor or Examinations Officer. They will gather evidence and may apply for permission to use access arrangements for exams in the future.

Functional skills

Functional skills in maths, English or ICT may be better suited to you than GCSEs. Functional skills and GCSEs are not the same.

Functional skills focus on the parts of maths, English, or ICT you will need for your daily life and work such as

  • time
  • money
  • reading
  • writing

Functional skills qualifications are available at both Entry level, Level 1, and Level 2.

As an approximate comparison

  • Entry level 1-3 is below GCSE
  • Level 1 is comparable to GCSE grades 1 to 3
  • Level 2 is comparable to GCSE grade 4

Functional skills can be a stepping-stone to GCSE if you want, or standalone qualifications.

Last reviewed: March 21, 2024 by Helly

Next review due: September 21, 2024

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