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Which pathway is right for me?

Assessment Only Route

The Assessment Only route to QTS

This is a work-based pathway to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for experienced unqualified teachers without QTS and is designed to meet the AO requirements as specified by DfE/TRA.

It assesses the ability of AO candidates to teach across the specified age range and demonstrate that they have met the Teachers’ Standards within a 12 week assessment window. As such, there is no training provided and is solely an assessment of a range of evidence to support the achievement of the Teachers’ Standards. The Assessment Only Route is regularly inspected for compliance and is included within external moderation samples.

Assessment can take place in independent, mainstream, or special schools.

AO candidates recommended for the award of QTS will have been assessed as meeting the Teachers’ Standards for QTS across one of the following age ranges:

  • Ages 3 – 11 (primary) - typically 3 – 7, 3 – 9, 5 – 11 or 7 - 11
  • Ages 7 – 14 (middle)
  • Ages 11 - 18 (secondary) - typically 11 – 16 or 11 - 18

AO Eligibility Criteria

South Farnham SCITT ensures that the necessary entry criteria are met before accepting an AO candidate onto the programme. The entry criteria as set out by DfE Assessment only route to QTS: criteria and supporting advice is as follows:

  • All entrants have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade 4 (previously grade C) in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics. Additionally, those who intend to teach pupils aged 3 - 11 must have achieved GCSE science (or equivalent) at grade 4 (previously grade C). Information regarding equivalency testing can be found here
  • All candidates hold a first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification

All candidates meet the expectations of South Farnham SCITT at interview:

  • Suitability to teach
  • Ability to demonstrate meeting all of the Teachers’ Standards without the need for any further training
  • All candidates have secure subject knowledge, can communicate clearly and accurately in standard English, possess intellectual and academic capacities
  • All candidates have taught and been accountable for children’s learning (as the class teacher) for at least two years (or part-time equivalent) in at least two schools or early years setting. It is not sufficient for candidates only to have had experience of two schools. Practical teaching experience is not restricted to schools in the UK
  • All candidates have taught children from a variety of backgrounds, abilities and across their chosen age range and gained experience of different teaching approaches to teaching and learning and to school organisation and management
  • All candidates have been subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service enhanced disclosure / pre-employment and safeguarding checks by their employing school
  • All candidates have met the Secretary of State’s requirement for health and physical capacity to teach

To achieve QTS you will need to

To achieve QTS you will need to:

  • Demonstrate secure subject knowledge (including competency in the Fundamental Skills for English and mathematics)
  • Present detailed evidence that you meet the Teacher' Standards
  • Be observed at frequent intervals over a 12 week assessment period by our team of assessors

What does it cost?

The cost of the 'Assessment Only' Route is £2,500. It is worth discussing this with your employing school as they may cover or contribute towards this cost.

How do I apply?

Applications are made directly to South Farnham SCITT and there is no need to apply through DfE Apply. Our application form can be found below. This contains a very useful eligibility checklist for you to use.

Privacy Notice

Please find the South Farnham SCITT Assessment Only Privacy Notice below (within application form)


South Farnham SCITT is committed to safer recruitment, safeguarding and promoting the welfare of young children.