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Assessment Only Route to QTS

We are a safer recruitment provider

Stockton-On-Tees Teacher Training Partnership (SCITT) is designated as an Assessment Only (AO)
provider by the Department for Education. Stockton SCITT is an Initial Teacher Training provider offering core SCITT places and post-graduate teaching apprenticeships at primary and secondary levels as well as the AO route to QTS.

The Assessment Only route is designed for experienced teachers with a degree but who don’t yet have qualified teacher status (QTS). The Assessment Only route (AO) to QTS allows a suitably experienced candidate to demonstrate that they already meet all the Teachers’ Standards and can therefore be awarded QTS. It does not include any training and is only suitable for those currently working as an unqualified teacher.

Entry Requirements

In order to progress a candidate’s application, they must satisfy all of the following criteria:
• The candidate has not previously failed a QTS programme.
• The candidate must have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C/4 in GCSE English and mathematics. All those who intend to teach pupils aged 3 to 11 additionally require a standard equivalent to a grade 4/C in a GCSE science subject.*
• The candidate must hold a first degree or equivalent qualification, normally at 2:2 or above though this is considered on a case by case basis.*
• Demonstrate the health and physical capacity to teach.
• Have regard to the ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ statutory guidance and be deemed suitable to work with children through pre-selection checks; DBS and children’s barred list.
• Candidates who have lived or worked outside of the UK must not be subject to a prohibition order issued by the Secretary of State or prohibited to teach in another country of the European Economic Area.
• The candidate must have been teaching successfully for a minimum of two years full time or equivalent and have been accountable for pupils’ learning. Individual cases may be considered on their merit.
• Must have taught in at least 2 schools, early years or further education settings teaching children and young people from different backgrounds, across the ability range in the chosen age ranges.

*Candidates are required to provide original certificates.

How long does the AO Route take?

The initial stages of the process (Stages One and Two) do not have a specific timeline. Once Stage Two is
complete and there is agreement to move forward, the process must be completed within 12 weeks (Stages 3 and 4).

How the school should support the applicant

Applicants will need the full support and commitment of their school and particularly that of their school mentor who will work closely with them through this process.

The assigned school mentor will help arrange preparation for assessment, including a programme of weekly lesson observations, weekly mentor meetings (records of which will be sent to Stockton SCITT via our online platform Moodle) and will check and confirm that they have seen evidence relating to the ability of the applicant to consistently fulfil the demands of all the Teachers’ Standards. They must be in a position to verify that the applicant has demonstrated competence against each of the Teachers’ Standards in a practical context, across the relevant age range. A school agreement will be signed by both Stockton SCITT and the partner school to ensure all parties are aware of their roles, responsibilities and commitments prior to the start of the assessment period.

The selection and assessment process

Applications are accepted throughout the academic year and assessment can begin at any point.

Stage OneInitial meeting with candidate and school-based staff/head teacher
Stage TwoInitial Assessment and completion of an application form sent to
Stage ThreeSchool Assessment against Teachers’ Standards including observation of teaching in appropriate age range(s), scrutiny of planning files, written task and an online portfolio of evidence
Stage FourFinal Assessment


There is no government funding to support the AO route. All fees must be paid by the candidate or the
employing school. The cost for the AO route is £2500. A discount of £500 is applied for those schools who are in our ITT partnership or who have ECTs registered with us.

If the applicant is teaching 50+ miles outside of Stockton-on-Tees then a travel payment for the AO provider of 45 pence per mile may be charged. If an overnight stay is required, the applicant will be charged for the accommodation of the assessor.

The fee covers the initial meeting and assessment, monitoring of the school assessment phase, final assessment, moderation and associated administration costs.

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