What is Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)?
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).
Overseas Trained Teachers
Qualified teachers who trained outside of England can obtain QTS by having their qualifications assessed by the Teacher Regulation Agency. 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).
What is the Assessment Only (AO) route into Teaching?
If you’re an experienced teacher with a degree, you can achieve qualified teacher status (QTS) without having to do any further training. Assessment Only 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.
Entry Criteria for the AO route with Wandsworth SCITT
Wandsworth Primary Schools' Consortium is an experienced Primary ITT provider. We offer the AO route into primary teaching (3-11) only.
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
Have already passed the Professional Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy
Have taught in at least two schools and/ or early years settings across two or more consecutive primary school age ranges:
- 3 – 5 (Foundation Stage)
5 – 7 (Key Stage 1- Years 1 and 2)
7 – 9 (Lower Key Stage 2 - Years 3 and 4)
9- 11 (Upper Key Stage 2 - Years 5 and 6)
“Candidates must show experience of teaching across their chosen age ranges and must be able to demonstrate that they have met all standards for QTS for these age ranges. Typically, a candidate with fewer than 2 years of teaching experience in schools as an unqualified teacher would be unsuitable for the assessment only route. Practical teaching experience for the purposes of AP is not restricted to taking place wholly or mainly in England” (NCTL, 2016.014).
Applicants need to carry out an audit of the evidence they already have for QTS and contact us for an initial discussion via firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0203 488 2805
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 must be completed within three months of the advisory visit (including school holidays).
Support Provided by Wandsworth SCITT
Candidates who submit an application and supporting documents which meet the criteria will be contacted by the WPSC Assessor. The WPSC Assessor 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.
Please call on 0203 488 2805 before applying. We will help you check you have all the right evidence and information and will send you a copy of our application form.
Visit 1: Advisory Visit and Interview
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
- establishing readiness and suitability for support through AOR
- making an initial overview of evidence and providing guidance on how to establish a Teachers’ Standards Portfolio
- establishing 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.
Teaching 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).
The award of QTS
Following the Final Assessment Visit, subject to all parties being 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 Database for Trainee Teachers and Providers (DTTP). The DfE will transfer this data to the TRA who will update the central list of qualified teachers and contact you directly.
As Newly Qualified Teachers, you can view your TRA record and obtain a copy of your QTS certificate from the TRA’s Teacher Self-Service online service.
Following the Final Assessment Visit, subject to all parties being satisfied with the evidence, the WPSC Assessor will make a recommendation to the WPSC Course Director for the award of QTS. The WPSC Course Director will undertake a final scrutiny of the AOR assessment documentation. A recommendation for the award of QTS is made to the National College of Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) and the candidate will receive email notification direct from NCTL of their QTS award.
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.
Fees for the AO route are £2,000.