Wandsworth Primary Schools' Consortium

Assessment Only Route

ASSESSMENT ONLY ROUTE TO PRIMARY QUALIFIED TEACHER STATUS (QTS)

 

Wandsworth Primary Schools' Consortium is an experienced Primary ITT provider. We offer the AO route into primary teaching (3-11) only. If you are seeking a route into Secondary teaching you will need to seek an alternative provider.

 

What is Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and why do I need it?

Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is required in England and Wales to work as a teacher for children in state schools under local authority control. Whilst it is possible to secure unqualified teaching positions in some schools, QTS opens up opportunities for career development and pay progression unavailable to those without QTS. We provide an Assessment Only route to QTS for those working with primary aged children (3-11).

 

What is the Assessment Only (AO) route into Teaching?

If you are an experienced teacher with a degree, you can achieve qualified teacher status (QTS) without having to do any further training. The Assessment Only route allows you to demonstrate that you already meet all of the standards for QTS.

To achieve QTS via the AO route, you need to present detailed evidence that you meet the standards. Your teaching will be assessed in school by an accredited and approved AO provider. 

Take a look at these Frequently Asked Questions to find out more:

I trained overseas, should I apply?

The AO route is designed for experienced, unqualified teachers. However, applicants who trained outside of England can obtain QTS by having their qualifications assessed by the Teacher Regulation Agency (TRA). This includes teachers who trained in Scotland, Northern Ireland, the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America (USA). Please check with the DfE to see if you are eligible.

How long does the AO route take?

The AO route allows applicants to be assessed against the Teachers’ Standards (2012) over a period of no more than three months, gathering evidence towards your eligibility for QTS. The assessment will be tailored to the individual and, typically, is completed within three months of the initial visit. The process can commence at any time during the school term by agreement with the candidate, school and Wandsworth Primary Schools' Consortium.

How much does it cost?

Fees for the AO route in 2023-24 are £2,500

Candidates are typically self-funding. Some employing schools choose to contribute to fees as part of a recruitment and retention offer. 

What are the entry requirements?

This route is for those who:

  • Hold a first degree of a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification (300 HE credit points of which 60 must be at level 6 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework).
  • Have achieved a standard equivalent to a Grade C in the GCSE examinations in English, mathematics and science. Equivalency tests for maths and science are accepted. Please discuss appropriate providers with the Course Director prior to application.
  • Have taught in at least two schools and/ or early years settings across two or more consecutive primary school age ranges:

3 – 5yrs (Foundation Stage)

5 – 7yrs (Key Stage 1- Years 1 and 2)

7 – 9yrs (Lower Key Stage 2 - Years 3 and 4)

9- 11yrs (Upper Key Stage 2 - Years 5 and 6)

Applicants “...need to have taught children and young people from different backgrounds, across the ability range and in their chosen age ranges [and] gained experience of different approaches to teaching and learning and to school organisation and management. ....Practical teaching experience for the purposes of assessment only is not restricted to taking place wholly or mainly in England” (DfE, 2022).

Applicants need to carry out an audit of the evidence they already have for QTS and contact us for an initial discussion.

Please call on 0203 488 2805 or email Nela Law our SCITT Administrator.

 

How do I apply?

Applications can be submitted at any time during the school year and must be sent direct to WPSC.  A copy of the application form can be downloaded here. 

You are required to write a supporting statement, outlining how your experience demonstrates that you meet the Teachers' Standards. You are also required to provide a statement from your Headteacher which supports your application and demonstrates your readiness for the award of QTS.

Please call on 0203 488 2805 or email Nela Law our SCITT Administrator.

What support will I get?

Candidates who submit an application which meet the criteria will be contacted by the WPSC Assessor. They will be the main point of contact and will visit candidates in school at each stage of the AO route process. They will provide guidance which will help you gather your evidence portfolio together ahead of your final assessment and will be available for guidance  via email / phone in between visits. 

The employing school will be asked to provide a mentor who can provide guidance during the process and will facilitate the WPSC assessor's visits. 

At the point of application the assessor will: 

  • Establish that this is the appropriate route, and giving guidance where alternate routes into teaching may also be applicable
  • Provide guidance to support your completion of the application

During the process the assessor will: 

  • Respond to any individual queries relating to establishing your portfolio of evidence
  • Liaise with your host/ employing school to ensure they are confident in their role and have arranged to provide you with mentoring during the assessment period
  • Ensure assessment visits are productive and supportive, and that the schedule suits the needs of you and your host/ employing school
  • Support your completion of an online Teachers' Standards Profile
  • Guide you and your school appropriately to ensure you are ready for transition into the Early Career Teacher (ECT) phase of your teaching career 

What happens at assessment visits?

Visit 1: Initial Assessment

This visit consists of an initial interview and joint lesson observation, portfolio check and verification of suitability for AO route including:

  • checking original documents of all qualifications and eligibility checks
  • identifying personal characteristics
  • confirming readiness and suitability for support through AOR
  • making an initial overview of evidence and providing guidance on how to establish an online Teachers’ Standards Portfolio
  • confirming mentor support provided by the school
  • agreeing partnership arrangements between the school and WPSC (documented in a ‘letter of understanding’)

Visit 2: Interim Assessment

This visit supports the candidate’s preparation for assessment by:

  • identifying progress towards targets set during the first visit
  • jointly observing and evaluating teaching with the Headteacher / Senior Leader
  • reviewing the available evidence in your Teachers’ Standards Portfolio

Visit 3: Final Assessment

This visit enables the WPSC Assessor to make a final recommendation to WPSC as to the candidate’s suitability for the award of QTS. The WPSC Assessor will make a final joint observation and will write a summary reflecting their own and the school’s view of the candidate’s ability to meet each of the Teachers’ Standards. This will contribute to target-setting which will support the candidate's ECT period.

How do I provide evidence ?

Throughout the assessment period, you will  gather evidence of your practice which demonstrates you are meeting the Teachers' Standards (DfE, 2011) at an appropriate level. Evidence should come, not just from your current school and Key Stage, but from alternate school experiences, demonstrating you are competent teaching in other contexts and age ranges. Typically, evidence would span two parallel Key Stages and, at least two school settings.

Overseas-trained teachers can include evidence from their practice outside of the English education system.

All applicants must make recent performance management documentation available, i.e. lesson observations by the Headteacher/ senior leaders, learning walks and book sampling.

Please find a detailed list of potential evidence sources here. 

How do I collate my evidence?

We will provide you with access to an online folder, created for your personal use, in which you will upload and collate your evidence. Working in this way will enable easy access to your portfolio by your school-based mentor, Headteacher and the WPSC Assessor.

You will log your available evidence on the Teachers' Standards Portfolio booklet, and provide hyperlinks to each piece of evidence. The booklet will act as an 'index' of your collated work. It also serves a summative assessment document. You and your mentor will write a brief summary statement noting the extent to which you are meeting each Teachers' Standard, in light of the evidence you have been able to present.

The WPSC Assessor will add their own summative statement to the booklet on concluding the final assessment visit. Transition targets, to support your next steps as an ECT, will also be set out in this document.

How do I get awarded QTS?

Following the Final Assessment Visit, if all parties are satisfied with the evidence, the WPSC Assessor will make a recommendation to the WPSC Course Director for the award of QTS within the 3-11 (primary) age phase.

On successful completion of the Assessment Only Route, Wandsworth SCITT recommends you for QTS through the Department for Education's online database 'Register'. The DfE will transfer this data to the TRA who will update the central list of qualified teachers and contact you directly.

You  can view your TRA record and obtain a copy of your QTS certificate from the TRA’s Teacher Self-Service online service.

What is the Teacher Regulation Agency (TRA)?

The TRA is an executive agency of the Department for Education (DfE) formed on 01 April 2018.

Its functions include maintaining the central list of qualified teachers in England, allocating teacher reference numbers (TRNs) and issuing Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) certificates.

The TRA will issue a letter to all Assessment Only Route candidates confirming their unique TRNs following initial registration. It is important that you keep this information safe, along with all other key documents needed for employment (qualifications, DBS, passport, skills tests).

What happens next?

On successful completion on the Assessment Only Route, and on securing Qualified Teacher Status, the employing school will register you as an Early Career Teacher and arrange an appropriate induction package to provide  training in line with statutory government guidance. Schools will coordinate with their designate Appropriate Body to make these arrangements.

Independent quality assurance of statutory induction, through the role of the appropriate body, is important both for ensuring that schools provide adequate support for their ECTs, and that their assessment is fair and consistent across all institutions.

Communication

At each stage the WPSC Assessor liaises with the mentor and the Headteacher to verify evidence and to ensure that all parties are in agreement about the progress of the candidate towards QTS.