AO Route to QTS

What is the AO Route to QTS?

The Assessment Only (AO) Route enables experienced teachers with a degree to demonstrate that they already meet all of the Teachers’ Standards, resulting in the award of Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) without the need for any further training in the UK.

Who Should Apply for AO?

The AO Route offered by Educational Success Partners (ESP) and Two Mile Ash ITTP is primarily designed for graduates who have a wealth of prior teaching experience but do not carry QTS.

There is an expectation that in order to qualify, teachers will have experience of teaching in 2 different schools and across the age range for which they are applying to be assessed, with classes not customarily fewer than 15 students.

Primary candidates will be expected to teach the full range of National Curriculum subjects across these ages and candidates should have taught a range of abilities.

Supporting schools should ideally be BSO-inspected. If not, they must be able to demonstrate that the school delivers the National Curriculum and is a member of AoBSO, BSME, COBIS, FOBISIA or NABSS.

Candidate Entry Criteria

Candidates must meet the following criteria before applying:

  • Achieved a standard equivalent to GCSE grade C (or higher) in English Language and mathematics, and in a science for those who intend to teach ages 3‐11
  • UK honours degree or 2:2 or better or equivalent
  • Passed the Literacy and Numeracy Professional Skills Tests
  • Assessed as ‘fit to teach’
  • Cleared relevant UK safeguarding checks and the country in which they teach
  • Checked against the DBS Barring List (UK) ‘Disqualification under the Childcare Act 2006’ and Prohibition Check
  • Demonstrates the positive values and personal attributes conducive to teaching including: resilience and perseverance; the ability to read effectively and communicate clearly and accurately in both spoken and written standard English; strong communication skills and a commitment to their own professional development.
  • Adequate teaching experienced which includes a minimum of 2 years teaching experience, teaching whole classes and being responsible for planning, teaching and assessment in their subject at secondary level and across the whole National Curriculum in primary.
  • Additional teaching experience in a second school setting (typically, at least 6 weeks)
  • Evidence of teaching across the age ranges to be assessed
  • Sufficient evidence that the applicant is meeting the Teachers’ Standards in full, or will be by the end of their assessment period, without the need for further training

School Requirements

In order to ensure the quality of support and success of candidates gaining QTS through the AO Route, the supporting school needs to be:

  • Judged good or better by Ofsted or equivalent BSO inspection
  • Have trained mentors in the school who can recognise and demonstrate excellent practice
  • Have a management structure that supports the training and professional development of teachers

Mentoring Requirements

Mentors must:

  • Have at least 3 years’ teaching experience
  • Hold QTS themselves
  • Be familiar with the Teachers’ Standards and the UK National Curriculum
  • Be able to accurately identify and demonstrate outstanding practice and effectively support colleagues in working towards assessment
  • Have strong interpersonal skills enabling them to communicate positively and effectively with the candidate
  • Have a supportive and sympathetic approach to colleagues
  • Have the support of the leadership team in carrying out their role
  • Have the ability to formally observe the candidate, make sound judgements on the quality of teaching and provide constructive feedback, identifying strengths and areas for development

Next Steps

Contact Izzy Hall, NQT and Teacher Development Director at ESP on izzy@espeducation.co.uk to request a pre-application audit. On receipt of the completed audit, we will send you the full application pack if you meet the eligibility criteria. Applications are passed to Two Mile Ash ITTP for vetting. They will contact candidates to arrange a Skype interview. If successful, candidates will then be offered a place by TMA ITTP on the next cohort.

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