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The Shire Foundation Alliance For Teacher Training

Assessment Only Route

The Assessment Only route is intended for very experienced graduate teachers without QTS who can demonstrate meeting all the standards for QTS without the need for further training. Candidates should normally have completed at least 2 years of work in school in which they have had full-time whole class planning, teaching and assessment responsibility, across the range of National Curriculum/EYFS subjects.

Candidates are accepted onto the AO route after an initial assessment to assess whether they are likely to be able to demonstrate that they are meeting all of the standards for QTS.  Candidates following the Assessment Only route with the Shire Foundation will be awarded Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) following successful final assessment.


The AO route is not funded by DFE  The fee for the AO route with the Shire Foundation is £2,500 and will be made in three stages:

£500 paid at the pre-registration and interview stage (£150 paid prior to the interview day and £350 paid following the interview and prior to registration on the DFE database),

£1,000 paid at the mid-term assessment point

£1,000 prior to the final assessment day.

Entry Criteria

All entrants must be employed by a school as an unqualified teacher, or agreed equivalent. This route will be for a period of 3 months maximum.

  • All entrants to the AO route must hold an Honours degree of a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification.

  • All entrants must have achieved grade C/4 or above in GCSE English, mathematics and science or a recognised equivalent qualification.

  • An assessment of fundamental English and mathematics knowledge will be undertaken prior to the award of QTS. Any shortfalls must be addressed by the trainee teacher.

  • All candidates must have taught and demonstrated evidence of an impact on pupil progress over a sustained period, in at least two schools and /or early years settings, prior to commencing the AO route. For the preferred age phase this will usually be for a minimum of two years. For the consecutive age phase this must be for a minimum of 6 weeks, with evidence of 80% whole class planning, teaching and assessment for at least 2 of those weeks.

  • Candidates will need evidence of teaching in at least 2 different schools.  This should also be for a minimum of 6 weeks, and may be completed as part of the consecutive age phase experience. For candidates within a Special School setting the second school teaching experience, must be for at least 8 weeks within a mainstream setting, and include teaching in the age phases the same as and consecutive to, the one in which they are currently working.


    Applications should be made directly to the Shire Foundation.

    The AO route can commence at any time during the school year.

    For more information contact:

    Julie Darmody