Assessment Only Route to Qualified Teacher Status

Information about our Assessment Only Programme

Suffolk and Norfolk School Centred Initial Teacher Training offer the Assessment Only programme as it is a route into teaching  designed for those candidates already teaching in schools who could be eligible to gain Qualified Teacher Status without undertaking a full initial teacher training programme so if candidates are successful through selection, they move straight into the assessment process.  The assessment period of a candidate from starting the Assessment Only programme and being awarded QTS must be successfully completed within three months.

However, since October 2019, we are also now offering a pre-Assessment Only programme for those candidates who would like to undertake the Assessment Only programme but the candidate or their employing school do not feel they are quite ready at this stage for various reasons. It may be that the candidate has not quite completed the two year requirement or the period of time for working in a second school etc. Therefore, we are offering the pre-AO programme to those schools and candidates who might wish for some more guidance and support to become ready for the AO programme into the future as we can offer online training and access to resources and lesson observations by our SCITT assessors as part of the pre-AO programme. There is no time restriction between engagement with the pre-AO programme and enrolment onto the full AO programme.

More information can be found in the links below under Pre-AO Programme as on the pre-AO programme we can provide training but any candidate undertaking the full AO programme cannot undertake any training delivered by Suffolk and Norfolk SCITT.

Who is the Assessment Only Route designed for?

The Assessment Only Route is suitable for you if you are working as an instructor in the primary; secondary or post 16 sector and are doing the following:

  • have whole class responsibility for lesson planning, teaching and learning for a minimum of two years full-time or the equivalent
  • are already a highly competent classroom teacher (clear evidence to show this)
  • 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 Teachers’ Standards
  • are in a school which will fully supports you through the application and assessment process
  • meet the application/entry qualification requirements
  • do not require additional training as need to be working at the level of a successful newly qualified teacher

What qualifications are needed at time of application?

  • Applicants must be a graduate and have a degree of 2:2 or above at time of application
  • Hold GCSEs in English and Maths at Grade C/4 for secondary teaching and additionally Science at Grade C/4 at time of application
  • Have evidence of completion of skills tests in Numeracy and Literacy until April 2020 at time of application

Assessment Only candidates must also at time of application have the following:

  • Have evidence of a clear DBS check
  • Be teaching in a school where they have the opportunity to demonstrate that they meet all the Teachers' Standards for QTS
  • Have taught and been accountable for pupils' learning for at least two years or the part time equivalent.  ·Have evidence that they have taught across two key stages  in either primary or secondary
  • Have taught in two schools in the age ranges in which they are going to be assessed
  • Possess the appropriate qualities, attitudes and values expected of a qualified teacher
  • Be able to communicate clearly and accurately in standard English
  • Meet the requirements for health and physical capacity to teach

What next?

If you think you meet the above requirements for the Assessment Only Programme  then please download the AO Handbook 19-20 which details all the information you need including the costs to your employing school and the application process. All the documents you need for the application process are listed on this page of the website. Your employing school also needs to read the Partnership Agreement and send a completed version of the Partnership Agreement Form as part of your application process.

Selection and assessment process

If you meet all the entry requirements as listed in the AO Handbook 19-20 and you submit an application form then the following stages will take place:

  1. An initial assessor from the AO programme will contact your school to discuss arrangements for a selection interview and will also meet the AO candidate.
  2. Within five working days of the initial visit, the candidate will be informed if they have been accepted onto the AO progarmme
  3. Registration and then the three month assessment period begins
  4. Allocation of a Support Assessor from the SCITT programme and this Support Assessor will visit the AO candidate within the first week to ensure all are clear about expectations and requirements of the three month programme. This Support Assessor will also carry out an Interim Visit half way through the programme and be the main point of contact for the AO candidate.
  5. A range of evidence to collect for a portfolio and all detailed in the AO Handbook
  6. Subject Knowledge for teaching visit will be arranged by a subject specialist. The Subject Knowledge Assessor is verifying that subject knowlege and pedagogy is sufficient for a newly qualified teacher.
  7. Final Assessment Visit will take one day and must take place within three months of the agreed date of starting the programme.
  8. The Final Assessor will make a recommendation for QTS for consideration to the Moderators along with a written report
  9. Within 2-3 weeks of the Final Assessor's visit the AO candidate will awarded QTS and informed of this outcome.

If you have any questions about either the pre-AO Programme or the AO programme then please email  as we are realise that there might be some specific queries regarding your specific context and Gill Riley who is our Assessment Only Programme Leader will be able to answer them quickly for you.

To Apply for the AO Programme or the pre-AO programme then please contact us on  and we will send you the documents you need.