Manchester Metropolitan University

Assessment Only Route to QTS

If you are 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 and can be completed in various settings.

As this is not a training programme, places are for experienced but unqualified graduate teachers. It is not a suitable or alternative route for those unable to secure a place on an Initial Teacher Education (PGCE) course. The route will suit those teachers who do not have QTS but who have taught for two years or more in at least two schools or colleges, with substantial experience in two consecutive age ranges.

If you have any questions or would like to find out more please email us via assessmentonly@mmu.ac.uk stating if your enquiry is primary or secondary.

The next Information Evening will be in November 2017.

If you wish to register your interest please email assessmentonly@mmu.ac.uk stating whether your interest is in the primary or secondary route.

Entry Requirements

Selection and initial needs assessment requirements

To be eligible applicants must:

  • hold a UK degree of 2:2 or higher, or equivalent qualification (Secondary candidates must hold a degree containing at least 50% of the subject they wish to teach or considerable experience of teaching the subject in Key Stage 4)
  • have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics, and that all those who intend to train to teach pupils aged 3 to 11 additionally have achieved a grade C in the GCSE examination in a science subject.
  • have passed the professional skills tests prior to entry.
  • be employed in a school, and be supported by your school
  • be working within national frameworks (e.g. key stages, GCSE)
  • be working in one of the following age phases:
    • Ages 3-11 (Primary)
    • Ages 7-14 (Middle)
    • Ages 11-19 (Secondary)
  • have taught in at least two schools, early years and/or further education settings with full responsibility for planning, teaching and assessment

Age range requirement

All candidates must have the knowledge and skills they need to be able to teach in one of the specified age phases. Typically, primary assessment will take place across the 3-7, 5-11, or 7-11 age ranges. For middle, assessment typically will take place across the 7-14 age range, and for secondary, assessment will typically take place across the 11-16 or 14-19 age ranges.

Please note that candidates must be able to demonstrate that they can teach across the full ability range of their chosen age phase.

Application Process

How to apply

  • Complete the Assessment Only Application Form‌.
  • The application should include as much detail as possible about your teaching experience (which can include paid employment and unpaid/voluntary roles) to allow us to judge your suitability for this route.

Applications are accepted throughout the year. Candidates are assessed from September to January, from January to May or from March to July.

  • The deadline for applications for the September to January Assessment Period is 1st July each year.
  • The deadline for the applications for the January to May Assessment Period is 30th November each year.
  • The deadline for applications for the March-July Assessment Period is 31st January each year.

All applicants will need to pass the numeracy and literacy skills tests before applying for the route.

If your application is successful you will be expected to produce a portfolio of evidence against the QTS standards. This means that candidates wishing to make an application should be in a position whereby they are already meeting the majority of standards.

Successful assessment of the portfolio will result in an invitation to be interviewed as part of the initial assessment and selection process.

You will then undertake a six to twelve week period of assessed practice in your school setting. During this assessed phase you will be observed regularly by your school mentor and receive two visits from a University tutor.

All those who are assessed and recommended for QTS are informed about the relevant statutory arrangements for the induction of newly qualified teachers.

Fees

  Cost
Initial recruitment, Portfolio assessment £300
Interview £100
Assessed placement £1800
Total £2200

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Assessment Only Route?

To date, all initial teacher training (ITT) programmes have been required to include an element of teacher training. This Assessment Only (AO) route is a new route to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and does not require individuals to complete teacher training.

The AO route is suitable for applicants who are currently employed in a school delivering high quality lessons as unqualified teachers.

Further information about the AO Route to QTS can be found at the Department for Education.

How long should the AO process take?

The whole AO process of assessment should normally be completed within 12 weeks.

Who can apply?

Those who wish to gain the qualification through the AO route might include very experienced graduate teachers without QTS who have experience of teaching the English National Curriculum across the required age and ability ranges in two different settings, and are:

  • currently teaching in schools
  • trained to teach overseas
  • trained to teach in the further education sector, and
  • teaching in the independent school sector.

Applicants must have experience of teaching across two consecutive key stages (for secondary candidates) and across two consecutive age ranges (for primary candidates).

Applicants will need to have enough experience to be able to demonstrate meeting all the standards for QTS fully, particularly those relating to national curriculum, examination arrangements and statutory duties in the age range that they are being assessed in.

If applicants are unable to meet these standards (for whatever reason) the would need to explain how they intend, with support from the school, to develop their practice and/or seek further opportunities so that it is possible to gain QTS during the maximum 12-week assessment period.

The Professional Standards for QTS and associated guidance can be found at the Department for Education.

What teaching experience can be taken into account?

All relevant teaching experience may be taken into account; voluntary/unpaid work as well as employed teaching experience. The location of prior experience is less relevant than ensuring that the applicant has enough experience to be able to demonstrate meeting all the standards for QTS fully, particularly those relating to national curriculum, examination arrangements, statutory duties in the age range that they are being assessed in.

The settings in which applicants have taught must also have provided them with substantial and sustained experience of whole class planning, teaching, assessment and reporting to parents across the full age ranges of assessment, including use and evaluation of distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support all pupils.

I am currently teaching in a FE setting. Can I still apply for the route?

Applicants who have experience of teaching Key Stage 5 at FE must normally be employed in a secondary school with the opportunity to teach a substantial amount of Key stage 4 in order for the application to be considered.

I only have experience of teaching in SEN settings. Can I still apply?

For an applicant with experience only in SEN settings, we would need to feel confident that settings provide the applicant with sufficient and appropriate experience at a suitable level to enable them to demonstrate meeting all the standards for QTS without the need for further training or time in other settings.

In particular the applicant would need to demonstrate meeting the standards across the full age ranges of assessment including use and evaluation of distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support all pupils, including those with special educational needs, those of high ability, those with English as an additional language and those with disabilities.

Another factor to consider is that assessments must take account of the physical ages of the pupils taught, not any other measure of their relative developmental age. The Secretary of State’s criteria refer to physical ages not developmental (or other) ages. The prior experience of applicants must demonstrate meeting the standards for the chosen age ranges of assessment.

I only have experience of working in one school. Can I still apply?

The NCTL stipulates that any AO candidate must have already worked in two schools before applying to be assessed for QTS and would need to have experience of teaching the English National Curriculum across the required age and ability ranges in two different settings. The experience may have been paid or voluntary, full-time or part-time.

How long does an applicant need to have taught in a second setting?

The length of time spent teaching in a second setting would be dependent on whether the applicant has enough experience to be able to demonstrate meeting all the standards for QTS fully, particularly those relating to teaching the national curriculum, examination arrangements and statutory duties. Applicants would need opportunities to demonstrate meeting the breadth and variety of experience, including teaching children from different backgrounds, across the ability range as well as gaining experience of different approaches to teaching and learning and to school organisation and management.

How recent must a candidate's evidence be?

We would normally expect a significant proportion of evidence to be recent (within the last 12 months). However, evidence from teaching in a second setting could be older. There are no hard and fast rules about the age of evidence. We will make a professional judgment in individual cases.

What percentage of a timetable does the candidate need to teach?

All teaching timetables must provide opportunities for candidates to work across two consecutive age-ranges (3-5, 5-7, 7-9, 9-11, 11-14, 14-16, 16-19).

Candidates will be expected to teach a minimum 50% timetable for the duration of the assessed placement.

The timetable must be sustained for the entire period of assessment and must provide opportunities to work with pupils across the ability range; to work with other colleagues (TAs, SEN Assistants etc.); and to work in a pastoral role.

Applicants for the Secondary age range will normally be expected to teach a minimum 50% timetable across the 12 weeks and that 80% of this timetable must focus on their specialist subject.

What about Overseas Trained Teachers who have exceeded four years of employment as teachers?

Overseas-trained teachers (OTTs) who have exceeded the four-year rule can still be employed to teach in maintained schools and non-maintained special schools as instructors. They are therefore eligible to apply for the AO route.

Will my experience of teaching overseas be accepted?

In terms of accepting teaching experience, the location of prior experience is less relevant than ensuring that you have enough experience to be able to demonstrate meeting all the standards for QTS fully, particularly those relating to teaching the national curriculum, examination arrangements and statutory duties. An applicant’s experience must demonstrate meeting all the QTS standards without the need for further training and within a term.

What if an applicant needs some additional training?

It is possible to include a small element of training where an otherwise very suitable applicant does not meet a small element of the QTS standards. Manchester Metropolitan University reserves the right to charge an additional fee for any training provided within our Assessment Only Route.

An applicant who has more significant training needs will be redirected to an alternative ITT route.

Must candidates be assessed in school in all age-ranges where the candidate is seeking QTS?

Not necessarily. Placement assessments in a school will be used in collaboration with other evidence provided by the candidate to ensure that we are confident in judging that the candidate meets all the QTS standards across the age ranges of assessment. However, candidates will need to provide strong evidence of age-range experience on application if they are proposing an assessed placement in a single age-range.

Can a candidate be assessed working in an independent school or FE college?

Yes, in certain circumstances a candidate can have their teaching assessed in an independent school or FE college. However, for this to be appropriate we need to be confident that the setting presents a candidate with sufficient opportunities to address the assessment needs of the candidate identified from the application. For instance, a candidate with very strong evidence of teaching in Key Stage 4 could be assessed in an FE college.

Can a candidate be assessed in an early years setting?

Yes, the requirements are the same but you will be assessed against the EYFS Statutory Framework.

Can we accept a DBS check from a school currently employing a candidate?

Where a candidate is employed by a school, with a current DBS check, and has been in continuous employment with the school since the check was received (no breaks in service of more than three months at any time), then providers can accept assurance from the school head teacher that the check had been undertaken and that s/he had no concerns about the candidate, subject to a barred list check.

What is the role of a candidate’s school?

It is important that the school is committed to the applicant undertaking this route and the applicant must seek the permission of the head teacher to support the application.

Having the school’s commitment to provide a school-based mentor who has undergone ITT mentor training will also be a condition of acceptance on to the route.

It is possible to include an element of mentor training where a mentor is not familiar with ITT processes. Manchester Metropolitan University reserves the right to charge an additional fee for any training provided within our Assessment Only Route.

The mentor will be expected to meet the candidate weekly to support the candidate in addressing any professional development targets established through the phases of assessment, including portfolio development and lesson observations.

All schools will be asked to sign the partnership agreement, which is drawn from elements of our existing ITT partnership agreements.

In addition, we will provide on-line support for mentors that are new to our Partnership.

Why do I need the Headteacher to support my application form?

It is important that your school is committed to you undertaking this route, as you will need the help of the school to make the most of their approach.

The school will need to support you with the development of the portfolio and to undertake lesson observations on the assessed practice. It is essential to seek the permission of your head teacher to support your application. This support will be your responsibility.

The Headteacher should provide an assessment of the applicant’s strengths and suitability for a career in teaching and say why the applicant is judged to be ready for final assessment. This statement should provide evidence, which references the teachers’ standards.

What about the Professional Skills Tests?

Applicants for Assessment Only (AO) programmes, which began in 2012/13 and beyond, are required to have passed their QTS skills tests before acceptance on to the route. Applicants should register online and take responsibility for attending a test centre in the UK.

Applicants do not require a TRN number to book for the skills tests for the AO route. Applicants should visit the Department for Education website for registration instructions.

What happens when the candidate is judged to pass and meet the QTS Standards?

We notify the NCTL and QTS will be awarded within 20 working days. A certificate will be sent to the candidate.

Will I have to undergo the NQT induction Year?

All candidates who are assessed and recommended for QTS become Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs). Information about statutory arrangements for the induction of NQTs can be found online at the Department for Education.

What class of degree would you accept for the AO route?

Applicants can apply if they have a UK first degree or equivalent qualification. A first degree comprises 300 HE credit points of which 60 must be at level 6 of the QCF. To meet the Teacher’s standards you must demonstrate degree level subject knowledge in your subject. Therefore your chosen subject should be the main component of your degree. If this is not the case then you will need to provide substantial evidence of how your degree relates to the subject you intend to teach and your teaching of the subject in key stage 4.

Would you accept a 3rd class degree for the AO route?

Applicants with a 3rd class degree will only be offered a place in exceptional cases. The will be made on a case-by-case basis. For example; such candidates could give evidence that they have a higher qualification and significant school and/or teaching experience.

International Assessment Only Route to QTS

We can assess professionals working outside the UK wishing to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Progress is monitored and assessed online by a Manchester Met tutor, with the final assessment taking place in person at your school setting. To find out if you are eligible, please read the ‘Entry Requirements’ section below.

For further information and to express your interest contact Pauline Mallison p.mallison@mmu.ac.uk.

Application Process

Please complete this application form.

The application will be judged against the application criteria and, if these are met, candidates will be invited to prepare a portfolio of evidence demonstrating the degree to which they meet the QTS standards.

  • The deadline for applications for the November to March Assessment Period is 30 September each year.
  • The deadline for applications for the March to July Assessment Period is 31 January each year.
  • Applicants applying for the November to March Assessment Period will submit the portfolio by Monday 6th November 2017.
  • Applicants applying for the March to June Assessment Period will submit the portfolio by Monday 5th March 2018.

Your portfolio may be submitted electronically by creating a folder in Onedrive and sending a shared link to p.mallison@mmu.ac.uk. Alternatively you can submit a hardcopy (to arrive no later than the relevant deadline date) whic may be posted to:

The Programme Administrator for the International Assessment Only Route
Education Exchange Office
Manchester Metropolitan University
Brooks Building
Manchester
M15 5JH

Or handed in person to:

The Student Hub
Manchester Metropolitan University
Brooks Building
Manchester
M15 5JH

Marked 'International AO Route' and 'for the attention of the Education Exchange Office'.

Fees/Funding

A fee of £2875 is payable by the candidate or their sponsor. A sponsoring school may offer candidates financial support to enable them to undertake the route. This amount is due in two parts as detailed below.

*There may be additional charges if additional support or placement experience is necessary. These will be negotiated in the light of particular circumstances.

The fee covers administration, visit and the associated assessment and support, in particular.

Deposit (non-refudable)
Initial recruitment, Portfolio assessment stage, Interview
£875
Assessed Placement stage £2000
Total £2875

In addition, all Manchester Met staff travel and subsistence costs will be met by the individual or their sponsoring organisation. The costs will be for one member of staff to visit the applicant in his/her school setting for the final assessment. If the candidate is assessed as unsuitable at final assessment, an additional visit will be required. Manchester Met will be responsible for booking travel and accomodation (if required), and an invoice will be raised after the final visit. Travel will be with a reutable airline and will be booked via the Manchester Met travel agent. Subsistence rates will be in accordance with HMRC Worldwide subsistence rates guidance, last published 2014.

Entry Requirements

Selection and initial needs assessment requirements

To be eligible applicants must:

  • hold a UK degree of 2:2 or higher, or equivalent qualification (Secondary candidates must hold a degree containing at least 50% of the subject they wish to teach or considerable experience of teaching the subject in Key Stage 4)
  • have achieved a standard equivalent to a grade C in the GCSE examinations in English and mathematics, and that all those who intend to train to teach pupils aged 3 to 11 additionally have achieved a grade C in the GCSE examination in a science subject.
  • have passed the professional skills tests prior to entry.
  • be employed in a school, and be supported by your school
  • be working within national frameworks (e.g. key stages, GCSE)
  • be working in one of the following age phases:
    • Ages 3-11 (Primary)
    • Ages 7-14 (Middle)
    • Ages 11-19 (Secondary)
  • have taught in at least two schools, early years and/or further education settings with full responsibility for planning, teaching and assessment

In addition, the applicant should be working in a school affiliated to one of the following groups: Council of British International Schools (COBIS), British Schools in the Middle East (BSME), Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FoBSiA) and the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSiS).

Age range requirement

All candidates must have the knowledge and skills they need to be able to teach in one of the specified age phases. Typically, primary assessment will take place across the 3-7, 5-11, or 7-11 age ranges. For middle, assessment typically will take place across the 7-14 age range, and for secondary, assessment will typically take place across the 11-16 or 14-19 age ranges.

Please note that candidates must be able to demonstrate that they can teach across the full ability range of their chosen age phase.