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The Assessment Only route

If you are an unqualified teacher with a degree and at least 2 years teaching experience you can gain qualified teacher status (QTS) in as little as 12 weeks through our Assessment Only (AO) course without having to train. Gaining QTS via this route will allow you to become a qualified teacher without leaving your school and will also demonstrate that you meet the Teachers’ Standards.

This QTS qualification will allow you to take the next step in your career as a teacher and it could help you increase your earning potential by up to £7,000*.


Course structure

All AO trainees must demonstrate that they have met the Standards for Qualifying to teach (QTS) by the end of the programme. Trainees on the Essex AO programme do this by:

  • building up a portfolio of evidence
  • demonstrating competence in class teaching during regular mentor and external tutor classroom observations
  • successfully passing a one day assessment visit which includes scrutiny of portfolio of evidence, observation by the assessor of two lessons and a short interview


Who is suitable for our Assessment Only route?

Your teaching experience should have occurred in at least two schools and across two consecutive key stages in either the primary or secondary phase, giving you the opportunity to gather significant evidence to show that you meet the QTS Teachers’ Standards. Your evidence will show that you are able to plan, assess and teach to a good standard in your chosen subject or age range/phase and demonstrate that you had full responsibility for the classroom.

Anyone teaching in a school that follows the English national curriculum can apply for the Assessment Only route. We will assess your teaching by reviewing your portfolio of evidence and observing your teaching at your current or placement school.

Our Assessment Only route to QTS is available in primary schools, special schools, PRUs and all main secondary subjects in state funded, free schools, academies and independent schools. If you are working in a very small school, special school, PRU, independent school or teaching in a school with very small class sizes we may require you to do an additional placement in a mainstream school and or observe you teaching there.


Eligibility Criteria

  • Be employed in a school in a teaching role by the time you start the programme that is willing to support you through the process
  • Your school will need to allocate you a mentor and ideally the equivalent to a NQTs’ timetable for the 12 week process to allow you time to observe good and outstanding practice, complete reflective logs and work on your portfolio of evidence.
  • Have achieved a standard equivalent to grade C or above at GCSE level in English and Mathematics. Those intending to teach pupils aged 3-11 will also need to have achieved a standard equivalent to grade C or above at GCSE level science
  • Hold a first degree from a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification: 300 HE credits with at least 60 at Level 6
  • Have passed the literacy and numeracy professional skills tests
  • Have undertaken significant teaching experience in at least two schools where you have had full responsibility for whole classes. (Though we do take into consideration Teaching Assistant experience and PPA cover, you must have had significant experience being fully responsible and accountable for planning, teaching and assessing the same class/classes.)
  • Demonstrate that you are already be a highly competent classroom teacher (at least ‘Good’ based on the Ofsted criteria for teaching) and you meet the QTS Standards across a minimum of two consecutive age ranges for your chosen teaching specialism in two schools. (Initial evidence may include lesson observations of your teaching from senior staff, Head Teacher references, and performance management documents.)
  • Have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in standard English
  • Have been subject to and passed the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and criminal records check


How to Apply

  • teachers can only apply if they are working as a teacher in an English School and meet the requirements
  • an application form will be sent on request to the school and this should be completed by you and your host school and returned to the ITT team
  • applications can be submitted to the ITT team at any time of the year
  • the programme will run for 12 weeks



  • There is an initial application processing fee of £25 payable by the AO teacher or supporting school
  • If the AO candidate progresses to interview then a further fee of £550 is payable to cover the costs of the interview, lesson observation, interview with line manager, selection panel and general administration
  • Once accepted onto the AO route, there is then a further non-returnable charge of £2,100
  • An additional £600 is payable by schools outside of Essex. (£200 payable at the interview stage visit, £400 payable once accepted.)

AO candidates will not be able to start the programme until all of the fees have been paid in full by the host school.


Interested? Want to know more?

For more information on training with us on the Assessment Only route, please contact kay.satchell@essexteachertraining.co.uk or call the office on 03330139982.


On average, a fully qualified teacher in England earns approximately £6,000-£7,000 more a year than their unqualified counterpart. For full details about qualified and unqualified teacher pay scales, visit https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/funding-and-salary/teacher-salaries