Assessment Only Route

Are you a graduate employed in a school?

Do you have  enough experience to qualify as a teacher without any training?

Do you have all the requirements listed below?

The AO route was developed for very experienced graduates who can demonstrate meeting all the standards for QTS without teacher training.
There are ‘unqualified teachers’ who may not have QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) but have significant experience of teaching in:

  • independent schools
  • maintained schools
  • as overseas trained teachers (OTT)


As an accredited provider, 2Schools Consortium can award Primary QTS to a person who:

  1. Holds a first degree or equivalent qualification granted by a UK institution or an equivalent degree or other qualification granted by a foreign institution;
  2. Holds a standard equivalent to a grade 4 in GCSE in Maths, English, and Science;*
  3. Provides evidence of Fundamental Skills (on page 2 of the AOR pre-application Audit for Primary QTA or AOR pre-application Audit for SECONDARY QTS  )  in either their application material or their portfolio;
  4. Has evidence to meet the UK Teachers’ Standards;
  5. Has undertaken a period of practical teaching experience including planning, teaching and assessment of all primary subjects- or a secondary subject for a secondary assessment, for at least 2 years, such that it meets the specified Teachers’ Standards across two schools and two Key Stages either in the 3-5 or 5-11 primary phase (including Early Years settings) or 2 consecutive secondary stages;
  6. Does not require any teacher training
    *please note it is the standard not the qualification that will be taken into account when making decisions about the relevance of the qualification.
    ^please note practical teaching experience for the purposes of assessment only is not only restricted to taking place wholly or mainly in England.

Please use our AOR pre-application Audit for Primary QTS or AOR pre-application Audit for SECONDARY QTS to assess whether you are ready to apply for the Assessment Only Route. Once you have answered ‘yes’ to all the criteria on the audit, please obtain a signature from your Head teacher and email your signed audit to 

We will get back to you with an application form once we have received and processed your checklist.

What do candidates and schools say about the Assessment Only Route with 2SC:

The AO Route was very robust and rigorous. It promotes high quality teaching.  Our school benefited tremendously as the AO teachers  are in their classrooms every day developing their skills, covering the curriculum at an appropriate pace, instructing students in developmentally appropriate and engaging ways, and attempting to apply to their classes the knowledge and skills gained through professional development activities.  Rachel Carli, Headteacher at Durants School, Enfield.

Erina Yianni, QTS with 2Schools Consortium through the Assessment Only Route, at Westgrove Primary School, June 2022: “I was so happy to have done my AO with 2schools consortium. They have been very supportive throughout explaining every section and were able to answer all my questions. I could not have asked for anything more”. 

Carnita Cenak, QTS with 2Schools Consortium through the Assessment Only Route in June 2018 at Daubeney Primary School: “I would like to say how knowledgeable and supportive the provider was. The interview was quite rigorous but relaxed. Communication from the beginning right to the end was timely. I have recommended another colleague as I was totally satisfied and impressed.


All applicants must provide evidence of Fundamental Skills (on page 2 of the AOR pre-application Audit for Primary QTS  or AOR pre-application Audit for SECONDARY QTS  in either their application material or their portfolio.

All applicants must be placed in and be employed by a school at the time of applying- this could be an independent school, a special school or a PRU.

The employing school will submit a safer recruitment checklist to confirm that the necessary employment criteria have been met.

The applicant will attend an interview during which their evidence against the Teachers’ Standards will be discussed and reviewed. Candidates are encouraged to bring an evidence file (school or university based, with photographic, written evidence and tasks and assignments) with them. This could be online. Examples of evidence are available upon request.

The Head teacher or a member of the School’s Senior Leadership Team from the placement school are required to attend the interview as they hold key information with regards to experience and practice of the AOR candidate. We will require a self declaration form to be signed by candidates and their Head teacher to confirm there are no gaps in their fundamental skills.

As part of the initial assessment 2Schools Consortium will carry out two lesson observations (one hour each in literacy and maths) with written feedback which will inform the Initial Assessment. Should the provider identify that training may be required, the application will not be taken forward. To ensure the rigour of our assessment 2Schools Consortium may choose to arrange an additional assessment of the candidate in another setting (this could be a different phase or a different school).

Applicants must have spent time teaching all primary subjects in two schools (as specified in ITT criteria 2019, for a minimum of 4 weeks in each) and across the specified primary age range (3-7 or 5-11 years old). Primary assessment will take place across the 3-7, or 5-11 age range. It is at the discretion of the provider whether support is given to applicants to meet this entry requirement (e.g. by helping them to secure a significant second school teaching experience prior to assessing them for acceptance onto the route).


The assessment period will last a maximum of 12 weeks from the registration start date- excluding holiday periods (following initial assessment and observations) to their final assessment. The school will need to identify a skilled mentor who will oversee the professional development of the candidate whilst on the route: the  mentor will need to observe them at least every two weeks (with written feedback) and meet them weekly for a formal meeting. 2Schools will provide pro forma for this purpose.

Contact us for more information.

Financial Implications for Schools

The school must employ the trainee. Schools complete employment process of their trainees.

Candidates outside the London area may be accepted but will incur additional travel costs.

For any assessment starting in January 2024 the following costs apply:

Fixed costs: Initial Administrative, assessment and quality assurance £600
  Selection process (interview and 2 observations) £1,500
  Final Assessment (2 observation and files checks) £1,150
Total   £3,250

Possible additional costs:

Additional 30 minutes joint observation prior to interview £150
Arrangements of second school placement if deemed necessary by 2Schools Consortium £500
2 additional observations (mid through the assessment period) in the same or a phase if deemed necessary by 2Schools Consortium £500

2Schools will only work in partnership with schools which:

  • Are not in special measures, do not have serious weaknesses or are not under notice to improve. Where a school has been graded as ‘requires improvement’ in their latest Ofsted inspection, the appropriateness of the placement will be assessed, to ensure that applicants are placed within a phase where good or outstanding practice can be observed
  • Have effective leadership and management.

Demonstrate a commitment to continuing professional development including:

-Completing documentation and follow prescribed monitoring procedures.

-Releasing the trainee to gain teaching experience in a contrasting setting if necessary.

The Consortium monitors the effectiveness of a school through applicants’ evaluations, Programme Leader visits, reference to Ofsted reports and monitoring of related placement paperwork.

If a school goes into special measures while a trainee is placed at the school, the partnership agreement should be amended to reflect increased monitoring.

2Schools Consortium Privacy Notice

THE AOR PROCESSSTEP BY STEP (from first to last visit must be no more than 12 weeks-excluding holiday periods)

  1. The AOR candidate completes and emails the  to
  2. Once 2schools is satisfied that the candidate meets all the requirements for the AO route, 2Schools will email the AOR 2Schools application form, subject audits (phonics, English, science and maths), AOR Handbook with Evidence files Guidance to the candidate.
  3. The candidate will email/send their AOR application form with scanned copies of their passport, evidence of the right to live and work in the UK and change of name if applicable; original degree or equivalent qualification and GCSEs certificates or the equivalent, with NARIC confirmation if applicable.
    Candidate should provide evidence of having been observed by mentor /other practitioners over their 2 years period of teaching as an unqualified teacher.
    Candidate should provide evidence of having met the Teachers’ Standards across 2 consecutive Key Stages and in two schools.
    Candidate will also email the completed subject audits (phonics, English, science and maths)
  4. The candidate will be shortlisted and if successful will be invited to attend an interview– see FIRST VISIT (first 2 joint observations can be carried out on the same day if the applicant is willing- see SECOND VISIT).
    Candidate will be encouraged to start collating evidence against the Teachers’ Standards (guidance provided- AO2 Evidence Files Guidance)
  5. Provider will seek evidence of the candidates Fundamental Skills (on page 2 of the AOR pre-application Audit for Primary QTS or AOR pre-application Audit for SECONDARY QTS) in either their application material or their portfolio.
  6. FIRST VISIT to include:
    `Document check (passport, evidence of the right to live and work in the UK; original degree and GCSEs certificates or the equivalent, with NARIC confirmation if applicable);
    `Interview (45min)– panel to include Head teacher of the school and 2Schools Programme Leader;
    `Initial discussion about evidence required-guidance provided;
    `Head Teacher and identified mentor to complete a reference to prove that the candidate meets the Teachers’ Standards if the one included in the application form is not detailed enough*;
    `Discussion with the identified mentor about their role and responsibilities in relation to supporting and monitoring the candidate over the 12 week process (mentor must observe candidate every week with written feedback and meet them for a minuted mentor meeting once every two weeks)
    `School (Head teacher) to complete a safer recruitment checklist and sign a partnership agreement (this will be emailed to the school);
    `Candidate will need to pass an internally set writing and a maths test (invigilated by their school)*
  7. SECOND VISIT approximately a week later to include:
    ` 2 joint lesson observations (one hour literacy and maths with feedback from 2Schools staff and candidate’s mentor)
    (Should the lessons not meet the Teachers’ Standards at a good or better level, an additional one or two observations may be required)*. If a candidate’s performance in one or both lessons meets the Teachers’ Standards at outstanding level, the candidate will be able to choose one or both lessons to be another subject other than maths /literacy in the final two observations.
  8. NEXT STEPS FOR SCHOOL/candidate:
    `the candidate will be collating evidence against the Teachers’ Standards (guidance provided)
    `mentor will observe candidate at least once a week and provide them with written feedback throughout the assessment process. Mentor can chose to use the school’s observations forms or the provider’s- included in this handbook. Observations must include comments that meet the Teachers’ Standards.
    `mentor will provide and monitor any subject knowledge development plan emerging from the subject audits.
    `mentor will meet with candidate once every two weeks for at least one hour to keep a record of their professional development-using 2Schools’ pro formas, included in this handbook.
    `candidate will complete Weekly Reflective Journal for every week whilst on the route and record own professional development- using 2Schools’ pro formas, included in this handbook.
  9. FINAL VISIT (final assessment) to include:
    ` 2 joint lesson observations (one hour literacy and maths or other subjects -see point 6, with feedback from 2Schools staff and candidate’s mentor)*;
    `final evidence check. Evidence must by this point meet all the Teachers’ Standards*.
  10. 2Schools will award QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) to the candidate and notify school and candidate.
  11. As per DfE statutory guidance, candidate will be required to complete an NQT year.

*It is expected that all candidates will successfully complete the assessment route to QTS. However there may be circumstances when, at any stage of the process, the provider may have to use their professional judgement and deem the AOR candidate is not fully meeting the Teachers’ Standards and has therefore failed the route.

2Schools reserves the right to bring a professional consultant alongside the main assessor at any stage of the AOR process as part of their quality assurance processes. In this case this will always be communicated in advance to the school and to the candidate. A3.4, A3.5

Primary assessment will take place across the 3-7, or 5-11 age range. A.2.2

Everyone at 2Schools Consortium is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. We have a number of policies and procedures in place that contribute to our safeguarding commitment and all staff and volunteers are expected to adhere to these.