Assessment Only (AO) Route to Qualified Teacher Status (Primary and Secondary)School of Education
Qualified Teacher Status is the United Kingdom’s professional accreditation for teaching. It is often required by schools in the UK. The University of Buckingham is one of the leading providers of programmes leading to recommendation for QTS.
The Assessment Only Route is a fast-track route (with a 12-week assessment period) to gain Qualified Teacher Status. It is aimed at teachers with two or more years’ teaching experience or those who have completed the International or Independent PGCE with The University of Buckingham, and who require no further training in order to demonstrate that they are meeting all Teachers’ Standards.
Applications are welcome from teachers who do not hold Qualified Teacher Status, currently teaching in a school in the UK or abroad, providing they meet the necessary criteria. Schools may be state-maintained or independent. International schools abroad must be following the English national curriculum or the International Baccalaureate.
The AO Route consists of three Assessment Processes. The first is an assessment of the candidate’s application, which will include a request to supply additional information. Once a candidate is accepted onto the route, they will undergo two assessment days in their school. The Initial Assessment Day will judge whether the candidate is likely to meet all the QTS Teachers’ Standards within a maximum 12-week period without any further training. The Final Assessment Day will take place within 12 weeks from the Initial Assessment and will determine whether the candidate meets all the Teachers’ Standards.
In order to assess many of the criteria for the award of QTS, during the initial assessment day the Tutor will interview the candidate, hold meetings with the candidate’s line manager, mentor and the school’s professional tutor, conduct at least 3 lesson observations and will scrutinize the candidate’s planning, marking, report writing and professional development. The candidate will also be required to produce a Teaching & Learning File (TLF). This serves as a portfolio of evidence in support of the candidate’s application for passing the Teachers’ Standards. The file is used by the candidate to showcase evidence over time in meeting the Teachers’ Standards.
There is no deadline for Assessment Only applications, as the AO programme will commence at any time, once a candidate has provided all the entry paperwork, and it has been approved by the Programme Lead. The 12 week assessment period can start any time in the academic year from the start of September up to the end of February. The assessment period itself must be no more than 12 weeks from the date of the initial visit, and cannot run into, or over, the summer holiday period.
For entry onto the Assessment Only Route, you will be expected to have the following:
- UK degree*
- GCSE in English, Maths at grade C/4 or above*
- GCSE in Science at grade C/4 or above* (Primary applicants only)
- You must be employed in a school.
*For equivalent qualifications, contact email@example.com to confirm that your qualification(s) meet the University entry requirements.
In addition, you must:
- Have two years’ teaching experience in at least two contrasting schools, one of which may be your current school. (For candidates who have taught in only one school, a minimum three-week teaching placement in another school will be required prior to the start of the course. The University of Buckingham will provide you with advice regarding the nature of this placement)
- Demonstrate that you meet all of the Teaching Standards across the age-range of assessment, as stipulated by the Department of Education.
- You must have knowledge of four consecutive year groups and taught within two key stages.
- For the General Primary option, be teaching core subjects (English, maths and science) to full classes for at least 50% (approximately 12 hours per week) of a full school timetable in the assessed age range
- For the Primary specialism option (art, drama, music, PE or MFL) be teaching the core subjects (English, maths and science) for approximately 6 hours per week, and your subject specialism for the remaining 6 hours, in the assessed age range.
- For the Secondary option, be teaching your subject to full classes for at least 50% (approximately 12 hours per week) of a full school timetable in the assessed age range.
- Have passed the literacy test before completing the course. The University can make these arrangements for you, we may be able to accept your previously completed literacy test, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm that it meets the QTS requirements.
- Show you have the health and physical capacity to teach.
- Satisfy criteria based on suitability and aptitude for teaching. This includes Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal records checks and children’s barred list information. Candidates who have lived or worked outside the UK must undergo the same checks as all other staff in schools and colleges. In addition, further checks may be carried out. The Home Office has published guidance on criminal record checks for overseas applicants.
The employing school must be able to fully support a candidate through this route, enabling them to demonstrate all of the Teachers’ Standards across the full age and ability range of training, and cannot have been graded as inadequate by Ofsted.
Thankfully, as travel restrictions are now being eased; the programme is no longer on pause for international applicants. However, it is worth bearing in mind, that the university cannot guarantee when an assessment will be able to take place as some restrictions and difficulties remaining surrounding international travel. In light of this international teachers may face delays. Assessments cannot be carried out online, they must be in person.
The fees for this course are:
|Start||Type||1st Year||Total cost|
Full-time (12 Weeks)
Full-time (12 Weeks)
The University reserves the right to increase course fees annually in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to take account of the University’s increased costs of delivering educational services. If the University intends to increase your course fees it will notify you via email of this as soon as reasonably practicable.
Course fees do not include additional costs such as books, equipment, writing up fees and so on. Where applicable, these additional costs will be made clear.
Fees are invoiced in three instalments commencing once accepted onto the programme at the beginning of the course.
All staff at COBIS member schools get a 5% discount on course fees. To ensure this discount is applied please select ‘COBIS’ from the partnership box on your application form.
International trainees will also be expected to cover any visa, flight, accommodation, travel and sustenance costs incurred whilst the University tutor visits.
Please use the ‘Apply Now’ button at the bottom of this page; or contact The Faculty of Education on +44 (0)1280 820222 or email: email@example.com.
Before we can review your application, you will need to supply:
- a copy of degree certificate
- a copy of English and Maths GCSE certificates (as well as Science GCSE if you are applying for the Primary Route).
- a copy of passport photo page (and visa/work permit where necessary)
- a copy of your CV
- a copy of your teaching timetable
Apply at any time.