The Assessment Only (AO) route allows applicants to be assessed against the QTS standards over a 12 week period in school.  It is intended for very experienced unqualified graduate teachers or higher level teaching assistants (HTLAs).  Our programme is predominantly aimed at colleagues who wish to be assessed for the Early Years and Primary phases of education but we will also consider applicants working in special schools, using the Primary National Curriculum and colleagues working in Middle Schools.  Applicants should have a wealth of prior experience and have the agreement of their employing school to support them through the process.

Prior Experience

Applicants should have experience of planning, teaching and assessment of whole classes of fifteen pupils or more during the 2-3 years prior to the start of the 12 week assessment period.  This experience should be gained across two different settings and across two consecutive age phases.

Entry Criteria

  • Provision of evidence of GCSE English Language, Mathematics and Science at grade C/4 or above or equivalent.
  • An honours degree at 2:2 or above from a UK University (a third class degree may be considered in exceptional circumstances).
  • A suitable reference from a school setting where you have been employed or volunteered in the last 2 years.
  • A sufficient initial portfolio that demonstrates a capacity to teach across two consecutive age phases and appropriate level of subject knowledge across the primary curriculum.
  • Experience of having worked in two schools/settings within the last three academic years.
  • Provision of evidence of your national insurance number.
  • Evidence that you have a Disclosure and Barring (DBS) check.
  • Fitness to train to teach check.


The assessment period should take no longer than 12 weeks.  However, the pre-assessment period (the period from submitting your application to commencing the assessment period) can vary in length for each individual applicant depending on the entry criteria they still need to meet.  For example, some candidates may need to achieve equivalencies or complete a placement in a second setting.  KNSTE will support all applicants through the pre-assessment period.