Assessment Only Route into Teaching

The Assessment Only Route (AOR) to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for Primary and Secondary teachers

  • Overview

If you are an unqualified teacher who needs to gain QTS, the Assessment Only programme is the ideal route as it is specifically designed to be straightforward and supportive to enable busy teachers to achieve QTS. The start date is flexible – you can apply for this route at any point throughout the year with assessments being carried out in Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms.

  • The programme

The AOR does not require a period of training and is designed for experienced, graduate unqualified teachers from the UK or overseas, who have taught for a minimum of two years (by the time the programme begins) in at least two schools, early years settings or further education colleges in the UK. In order to achieve QTS they must demonstrate that they meet all of the Teachers’ Standards and requirements for QTS without any further training. The route is available to unqualified teachers in maintained or independent schools which teach the English National/EYFS Curriculum in, primary, secondary and further education. If you have only taught in one school you will need to gain experience for at least six weeks at a second, contrasting, setting prior to applying. It is expected that you will be enrolled for a minimum of six weeks and no longer than three calendar months (including any school holidays). The Final Assessment must take place within the three-month calendar deadline starting from the date of registration with the NCTL.

  • Eligibility

In order to be considered for the Assessment Only route, candidates must meet the following criteria:

a) Hold a Bachelor Degree, or equivalent qualification (NARIC checked in the case of overseas-trained teachers).

b) Have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 or above (formerly grade C or above) in the GCSE (or equivalent) examinations in English language and mathematics and that all those who intend to teach pupils aged 3-11 additionally have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 in the GCSE examination in a science subject.

c) Have been cleared by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Fitness to Teach checks.

d) Have passed the Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy.

e) Be able to demonstrate that you have at least two years’ classroom experience with full class responsibility (planning, delivery, assessment and evaluation), equivalent to a full-time teaching position with approximately 20- 25 hours teaching time in at least one of the following settings*:

  • a maintained school
  • a non-maintained special school
  • Early Years setting
  • an Academy
  • an Independent School
  • a City Technology College
  • a City College for the Technology of the Arts
  • a Further Education Institution
  • a Sixth-Form College
  • a Pupil-Referral Unit

*One of these schools/settings can be from overseas but each case will be assessed on an individual basis.

f) Be able to demonstrate – as part of the two-year minimum experience – that you have taught or currently teach the English National/EYFS Curriculum to include two or more consecutive age ranges, with a minimum of six weeks in both age ranges:

  • EYFS age 3-5  Foundation stage
  • Key Stage 1 age 5-7  School Years 1–2
  • Key Stage 2 age 7-11  School Years 3-6
  • Key Stage 3 age 11-14  School Years 7-9
  • Key Stage 4 age 14-16  School Years 10-11
  • Key Stage 5 age 16-19  School Years 12-13

Teaching London: LDBS SCITT complies with all current legislation relevant to the AO Route, including:

  • How to apply

If you’d like to express your interest in this route, please email

  • Application Process

As there is no training on this route, we have to be sure it is the right course for you. The application process is quite detailed but we have broken it down and we will guide you through each stage.

Stage 1: Initial contact

If a potential candidate appears to be eligible, an initial contact visit is made to the school either by the AO Coordinator (Primary) or an AO trained Subject Specialist (Secondary). During this visit the potential candidate will be told what evidence they are required to produce in order to demonstrate that they meet the Entry Criteria. The partner school will be asked to appoint an experienced Senior Colleague.

Stage 2: Initial Advisory Visit

Once the candidate’s eligibility to begin the application process has been agreed, a Teaching London Assessor will undertake an advisory visit.  This will include:

  • a joint observation of the candidate, undertaken by the Assessor and the School Senior Colleague
  • joint scrutiny of the initial documentation collated for the Evidence Portfolio
  • advice provided on the collation and analysis of evidence required, to demonstrate that the candidate has met the Teachers’ Standards in two contrasting school settings and consecutive key stages. They must show:
    • that they have taken whole class responsibility for assessing, planning and teaching in two schools
    • that they have met the Teachers’ Standards in full and secured pupil progress in two schools
    • the level at which they are meeting the Teachers’ Standards, using the grade descriptors, which will be used to grade them at the end of the Assessment Period

Stage 3: Interim Assessment and Interview

On successful completion of Stage 2, and once the second fee has been received, a joint lesson observation, scrutiny of Evidence Portfolio and Interview will be undertaken by a panel from Teaching London and the Headteacher, or designated member of the senior leadership team.

This process involves:

  • A formal lesson observation to consider their practical ability to teach, meet the Teachers’ Standards in action, their ability to effectively communicate with pupils, engage, motivate and inspire pupil progress in learning over time
  • An interview to consider the candidates’ attitudes, knowledge and understanding of the teaching role, their qualities, ethics and values
  • Scrutiny of all available evidence and documentation including the Evidence Portfolio

If the AO candidate is successful at this stage, they will be informed and registered with the NCTL. They are enrolled for a minimum of six weeks and no longer than twelve (including any school holidays). Final Assessment must take place within the three-month calendar deadline.

Stage 4: Final Assessment

The Final Assessment must take place within 12 weeks (but not less than 6 weeks) of the registration period (including holidays). The Final Assessment will comprise:

  • Formal observations of teaching, fortnightly including two joint observations by senior colleague and Teaching London Assessor
  • A formal review of the Evidence Portfolio with particular emphasis on the impact on pupils’ learning over time
  • A formal meeting to discuss transition to the NQT programme and completion of a Career Entry Profile.

On successful completion of Stage 4, the Candidate will be recommended for award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

  • Fees

The fee for the Assessment Only Route is £2250.