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Primary Assessment Only

Primary Assessment Only route to QTS

If you are an experienced teacher with a degree, you can apply for a place on an assessment route to qualified teacher status (QTS).

The AO 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 detailed evidence, and your teaching will be assessed in school by us. You must also take the professional skills tests in literacy and numeracy before you can be recommended for QTS.

What is the Assessment Only Route?

The AO Route does not require candidates to undertake a period of training so if you are successful through selection, you move straight into the assessment process. The assessment period is expected to last no more than one term.

Who is this route designed for?

The AO Route is suitable for you if:
  • you have been teaching successfully for a minimum of two years full time or the equivalent
  • you are able to show experience of teaching in more than one school and across a range of age and ability
  • you are already a highly competent classroom teacher (at least "Good" based on the ITT Ofsted criteria for teaching)
  • you will be employed in a teaching role for the duration of the assessment period at a school where you can meet the full requirements of the QTS Standards
  • you are in a school which will support you through the application and assessment process

What qualifications will I need?

You will need:
  • a first degree of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent qualification (normally 2:2 or above)
  • GCSEs in English, maths and science at Grade C or equivalent if teaching pupils aged between 3-11 years
You must have passed the Professional Skills Tests before you can enter the programme. Full details can be found on the Department for Education website.

We have received the following clarification from the Skills Tests / Supply & Recruitment Division of the Teaching Agency:

"Anyone who starts an Initial Teacher Training course from academic year 2013/14 must pass the skills tests before they start the course, irrespective of how they are funded. As with all other applicants they can book an appointment a few weeks in advance of submitting an application to ensure they secure a convenient appointment. However, they must have submitted the application prior to taking the test. They will need to take evidence of the application to the test centre when they take the tests. The school and/training provider will be able to access their results by searching for their surname and date of birth".

You must present a confirmation from a training provider that you have made a formal application to train as a teacher when you attend for the skills tests. We will issue a confirmation on receipt of your application.

You can book a test by registering online via the DfE website, You do not need a reference number to apply but you will be given a skills tests reference number when you register which you can keep for your own records.

Where can I find out more?

Please download and read our AO Handbook. This details the AO Programme and is likely to answer many of your questions. The Handbook, together with our Lesson Observation Form can be downloaded by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.

In addition to the information available from the links on this page, you can contact us directly on 01487 833707 or by email at

Support for schools

The Assessment Only programme does not include any training, but constitutes only assessment against the Teachers' Standards. We have found in the past that some schools find additional guidance on AO to be very useful. We do therefore offer a preliminary visit designed for schools who may require assistance in the preparation of a candidate for The Cambridge Partnership's Assessment Only route to QTS. The visit may occur before the candidate's application, or following an application but prior to the commencement of the assessment process itself.

How do I apply?

Please read the Handbook below and complete the Application Form. Ensure that you have provided all required enclosures and send to:

The Cambridge Partnership
The Tony Robinson Centre
Sawtry Village Academy
Fen Lane
PE28 5TQ