Assessment Only Route (AOR) to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) Requirements and Process Guidance 2018-19

This page provides a detailed outline of the ‘Assessment Only Route (AOR) to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) requirements and process.

For further information:
• DFE / NCTL: Assessment Only Route to QTS Criteria and Supporting Advice (last update September 2016) www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-assessment-only-route-to-qts
• University of Sunderland: ‘Assessment Only Route to Qualified Teacher Status: Application Information Pack’

Who can apply for a place on the AOR programme?

If you are an experienced teacher with a degree and you already meet all of the Teachers’ Standards 2012 without the need for any further training, you can apply for a place on the AOR to QTS (DFE website).

Will I need to undertake a course of training?

No, the AOR does not provide a training element. However, Empowering Learning provide a programme of induction, training and support.

How long will it take?

Application to Interview / Viva takes between 1-2 terms. This depends on the extent to which you meet the AOR requirements on entry (see below). Interview to assessment takes no less than 6 weeks / no more than 12 weeks.

How much will it cost?

You are required to pay a non-refundable interview fee of £300 and an assessment fee of £1550 (plus assessor travel expenses and accommodation). You will also be required to pay for the Teacher Standards Programme, run by Empowering Learning.

Is any there any government funding available to support me?

No, there is no funding available. Candidates will be responsible for paying their own interview and assessment costs.

Can I be assessed if I’m not employed by a mainstream school?

Yes, candidates can be assessed regardless of employment status. You can be assessed whilst working in an unpaid placement or during supply cover. You can be assessed in an independent school, a special school or a pupil referral unit (PRU), as well as in a state-maintained mainstream school.

What selection and initial assessment requirements should I meet?

Prior to acceptance onto the AOR, all candidates must have submitted an AOR application form and have taken part in an interview/viva to confirm that they:

  • Have the intellectual and academic capabilities
  • Possess the appropriate personal qualities, attitudes, ethics and values
  • Have the and physical capacity to teach

Have been subject to a DBS barred list and criminal records check.

What qualifications should I have?

GCSE grade C+ or equivalent:  English, Maths (and Science for 3-11 yrs)
Further evidence is required where only GCSE English Literature is held

A UK First Degree (or equivalent)

  • Primary: will normally be in a National Curriculum related subject
  • Secondary: will normally match the subject specialism

An overseas teaching qualification is advisable but not compulsory.

Overseas qualifications must be checked using the NARIC database to ensure that these are comparable in standard to requisite UK qualifications. A NARIC certificate will need to be produced.

What tests will I be required to pass?

Before you can be registered onto the AOR course you will need to have passed professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy.

How much teaching should I have undertaken?

You are required to have taken responsibility for and taught whole classes (normally 16+ pupils) for a minimum of 2 years. This can be any curriculum in any country. Supply contracts count as long as they are long term and not a day here and there. Employment in a support role does not count.

How many different schools should I have taught in?

You are required to have taken responsibility for and taught the whole class (normally 16+ pupils) in a minimum of 2 schools, Early years and/or FE settings.

Please note that, ‘Teaching that has exclusively centred on teaching very small groups (in a Pupil Referral Unit or in  a Special School) may not be appropriate’ (Sunderland AOR Application Information Pack 2018:2.1).

How many different key stages should I have taught in?

You are required to have taken responsibility for and taught the whole class in each of the key stages of your chosen age-phase: 3-11 year (primary); 7-11 years (middle); 11-19 years (secondary). You must show evidence of meeting each of the Teachers’ Standards in each key stage. The length of time in each key stage is not specified. However, less than 20 days of sequential teaching is unlikely to provide sufficient time to gather the necessary evidence.

What evidence will I be required to present?

You are required to present a portfolio of evidence that demonstrates your ability to meet each of the Teachers’ Standards 2012 in at least two schools and key stages for all the subjects you are required to teach (for primary this means the core and foundation subjects)

If you gained an overseas PGCE through the University of Sunderland, your folder will count as evidence of teaching in at least one school and key stage. If not, it is essential that you gather standards related evidence from the school(s) in which you have been teaching overseas– a reference is not enough. If evidence cannot be gathered it will be necessary for you to teach in two different schools and/or key stages in the UK.


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