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Assessment Only route leading to Qualified Teacher Status: Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

The Assessment Only route allows you to demonstrate that you already meet all of the standards for QTS  without the need for any further training. You will need to present a detailed portfolio of evidence, and your teaching will be assessed in a school by an accredited and approved provider

You must also take the professional skills tests before you can be recommended for QTS.

The AO requirements and supporting advice are available from the Department of Education.

Can I complete the professional skills tests at the end of the process?

  • You will not be considered for Assessment Only unless you have also taken and passed the professional skills tests prior to application.

Can I complete my GCSEs or equivalents during the process?

  • You must have evidence of successful completion of GCSEs or their equivalent, in Maths, English and (for primary teaching) Science before you can be considered for Assessment Only.

Will Kingston University provide me with training if my portfolio of evidence is determined to be weak in any area?

  • It is not a teacher training programme and no training will be provided as it is a route designed for candidates with significant experience of teaching, who feel that they can provide adequate evidence of meeting the Teachers' Standards.

What does my school have to provide?  

  • You will need to gain support from your headteacher, who will need to complete part 2 of your application form and provide a written statement of support, confirming that they support your application and that you are a strong candidate for the award of QTS.
  • A Kingston University tutor will observe you teaching in your school and discuss observations with the relevant school staff, therefore your school needs to be able to make provisions for the tutor on the interview and assessment days, and provide appropriate cover arrangements due to the assessment process, including any meetings with other involved members of staff.

What teaching experience can be taken into account?

  • All relevant teaching experience may be taken into account as evidence: voluntary/unpaid work as well as employed teaching experience.
  • Your teaching experience needs to demonstrate that you have had significant and relevant experience of teaching across two consecutive age phases, in two separate schools.

How long does the Assessment Only process take?

  • The whole Assessment Only process will take a maximum of three months from the beginning of the assessment period and includes (not exclusively): receipt/review of application, initial interview, and submission of evidence and assessment.
  • National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) advice is that if an applicant appears to require more than a term to complete the Assessment Only route, it is likely that an existing ITT route would be more suitable.

Is Assessment Only only for those employed in the mainstream state sector?

  • No, you can have your teaching assessed in an independent school or FE college.

Will I be observed teaching across both age ranges?

  • Yes, unless you provide particularly strong evidence and your assessor feels it is not necessary.

I worked as an unqualified teacher/cover supervisor for a significant time but I am not employed now, can I still be assessed?

  • Kingston University requires you to have already secured your supporting school placement, paid or otherwise. This placement will be the school where you are observed. Normally you will have been working there (paid or otherwise) prior to the assessment.

Do I need to get a new DBS check?

  • We will discuss this with you at interview but you will need to have a child workforce DBS certificate issued within the last three years.

How am I assessed at the final point?

  • Your assessor will watch you teach, meet with key staff within your school and critically evaluate your portfolio of evidence against the Teachers' Standards.
  • You will need to provide evidence that you have passed the professional skills tests.
  • You will be awarded a pass or fail.

If I pass the final assessment how soon do I get QTS?

  • We will notify the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) that we are recommending you for the award of QTS.
  • Your notification for QTS will be sent directly to you from the NCTL.
  • You will receive a Teacher Registration Number (TRN).

I'm an overseas-trained teacher (OTT) but have exceeded four years of employment as a teacher

  • You can still be employed as an instructor in a school. You are therefore eligible to apply for the Assessment Only route.
  • However, you need to be aware of a recent government announcement which stated that, OTTs from the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Canada will be recognised as qualified teachers but must apply to the NCTL for QTS. Further information is available on the Department of Education website.

If I am successful and gain QTS from the Assessment Only process, am I exempt from the induction NQT year?

  • Generally you will be expected to complete the same induction requirements as all successful candidates for QTS, and this will be discussed with you at interview.

How do I apply?

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