Assessment Only Route

What is Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)?

Maintained schools form part of the state-funded schools system in England (including primary, secondary and special schools for pupils with special educational needs). In maintained schools funding and oversight is generally through the local authority. They make up the majority of schools in England and are mostly either community schools or voluntary controlled schools (where the local authority employs the school's staff and is responsible for admissions) or foundation and voluntary aided schools, where the school's governing body employs the staff and has responsibility for admissions.


Applying Directly for QTS with the National College of Teaching and Leadership

Qualified teachers who trained outside of England can obtain QTS by having their qualifications assessed by the National College for Teaching and Leadership. 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

We offer the AO Route into primary teaching for those who:

  • already have a degree (2:2 or above)
  • have passed GCSE English, Maths and Science at C grade or above (or  equivalent)
  • have passed the Professional Skills Tests in literacy and numeracy
  • have substantial experience (minimum of two years) of working in primary schools as an instructor or unqualified teacher, or as a teacher in an independent school
  • have gained this experience in at least two different and contrasting schools or educational settings across two or more consecutive primary school age ranges:

3 – 5 (Foundation Stage)

5 – 7 (Years 1 and 2)

7 – 9 (Years 3 and 4)

9- 11 (Years 5 and 6)

Applicants need to carry out an audit of the evidence they already have for QTS and contact us for an initial discussion via or by calling 020 8772 9528.



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.


Stage 1: Advisory Visit

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

  • checking original documents of all qualifications and eligibility checks
  • identifying personal characteristics
  • establishing school 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’)


Stage 2: Initial Assessment Visit

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

  • identifying progress towards targets set during the advisory visit
  • observing and evaluating teaching
  • reviewing the available evidence in your Teachers’ Standards Portfolio


Stage 3: Final Assessment Visit

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 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.


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. 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.