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Assessment Only is an employment-route to QTS for those with a minimum of two years of recent teaching experience as an unqualified teacher, with at least six months in their current school setting. This route is designed for those with this level of experience who are already meeting the Teachers' Standards at a good or high level and would therefore not need to undertake a full training route in order to achieve QTS.

Assessment Only isn't a training course, but a route to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) for those who are already meeting the Teachers' Standards. Those who are successful in gaining an offer of a place on this route through the recruitment process will have an initial visit from a Canterbury Christ Church University tutor who will carry out lesson observations and have discussions with you (the candidate) and the School’s Assessment Only Coordinator. 

Entry requirements

You must be currently employed as an unqualified teacher and have at least two years' experience. You must be a graduate holding an undergraduate degree (2.2 or above) of a United Kingdom higher education institution or equivalent. You must have GCSE Maths, English (for primary and secondary) and Science (for primary) at Grade C/Grade 4 or above (or equivalent). You must have successfully completed the Occupational Health Clearance and a satisfactory Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check.

If English is not your first language you require an IELTS overall score of 6.0 with no element below 5.5 for most standard undergraduate and postgraduate courses. There are some exceptions and if the IELTS requirement differs it will be specified on the course page.

How you’ll learn

NCTL Requirement: Extract from the “Assessment Only: Criteria Supporting Advice” (October 2018 National College of Teaching and Leadership)

Criterion A1.5 States: That all candidates have taught in at least two schools, early years and/or further education settings.


The aim of this criterion is to ensure that candidates can demonstrate sufficient breadth and variety of experience by having taught in at least two schools, early years and/or further education settings prior to acceptance onto the route.

Scope Candidates need breadth and variety of experience in schools or other settings to enable them to meet all the standards for QTS. They need to have taught children and young people from different backgrounds, across the ability range and in their chosen age ranges, as well as gaining experience of different approaches to teaching and learning and to school organisation and management.

The criterion specifies that candidates must have taught in two schools prior to entry to the Assessment Only route. It is not sufficient for candidates only to have had experience of two schools or settings. Providers will wish to consider whether a candidate’s prior experience of teaching in school provides enough evidence to allow the provider to confidently count those previous teaching experiences towards the two schools stipulated in this criterion.

Providers will need to be clear about the nature and extent of the prior experience, whether it offered candidates the opportunity to teach children and young people and whether, taken together with other experiences, it prepared the candidates sufficiently to meet the standards for QTS.

Candidates must show experience of teaching across their chosen age ranges and must be able to demonstrate that they have met all the standards for QTS for these age ranges. Typically, a candidate with fewer than 2 years of teaching experience in schools as an unqualified teacher would be unsuitable for the assessment only route. Practical teaching experience for the purposes of Assessment Only is not restricted to taking place wholly or mainly in England.

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) requirements below have been designed to ensure that the CCCU Assessment Only pathway meets the scope of this requirement in full.

The Second School Experience must have taken place prior to a candidate’s application to the Assessment Only Pathway. In this short guide the term “Second School” refers to the school that is not the current employing school of the Assessment Only candidate.

  • The second school experience must be in a school that provides a contrast to the current employing school in some way.
  • The second school must have experienced and trained mentors. Ideally we would expect that the school would already be working in partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University.

The second school experience must be a minimum of six weeks in a block in order to enable the applicant to be able to demonstrate:

  1. Breadth and variety of experience in either some or all of: teaching children and young people from different backgrounds, across the ability range and in their chosen age ranges, as well as gaining experience of different approaches to teaching and learning and to school organisation and management.
  2. The second school experience must add to the evidence that the candidate has met all the standards for QTS for their chosen age range(s).

Evidence must be provided that the candidate has planned, taught and assessed pupil progress in the second school in either:

  • the specialist subject (secondary) within the chosen age range


  • the full primary curriculum within the chosen age range.

Required evidence:

If you are invited to interview you will be required to bring this evidence with you to the interview:

  • details of the second school
  • name of school
  • name of contact
  • dates of teaching/employment
  • summary of teaching experience there
  • most recent timetable from the second school
  • reference/testimonial from the second school.
  • At least six lesson observations across the age range(s) requested for the Assessment Only route:
    • for secondary – within the subject that the candidate wishes to be assessed in
    • for primary – across the range of the primary curriculum subjects
  • examples of lesson plans and resources whilst teaching in the second school
  • examples of assessment of pupils and evidence of the pupil progress for the class(es) taught
  • a reflection on the different pastoral systems, school policies, school settings, and use of school data between the second school and employing school
  • an ‘Impact Statement’ that describes the impact of the Second School experience on the candidate’s practice in their current employing school.
  • Art and Design
  • Business Studies
  • Computing
  • Design Technology
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Modern Foreign Languages
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Religious Education
  • Science

N.B. Please also read all the guidance and requirements on the website. The Assessment Only route to QTS is only for those unqualified teachers who are already meeting the Teachers’ Standards. It is NOT a training route.

1. Why should I be interested in gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)?

Gaining QTS will give you parity with other qualified teachers across the country. It will enable you to teach in any school in the country whether an independent school or a maintained state school. It will also allow you to teach at any level.

2. How much experience of teaching should I have?

Canterbury Christ Church University (CCCU) is requiring at least two years of recent teaching experience as an unqualified teacher, at least 6 months of which must be in your current employing school. If you do not have this experience you should apply for a training route to QTS, such as

PGCE or School Direct. You must already be meeting the Teachers’ Standards at a good or high level. You must be able to demonstrate considerable experience as a teacher in either the primary phase or secondary phase and have fulfilled the whole range of a teacher’s duties.

3. What is the timescale for gaining QTS?

The amount of time that you will need to spend on the pathway will depend on your experience, what evidence you already have and your own commitment. Some people move to final assessment very quickly, others take longer depending on personal circumstances but most people can expect to gain QTS within 6 -12 weeks after registration. Twelve weeks is the maximum time allowed on the pathway.

4. What qualifications do I need?

You must hold a degree and have GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English at grade C/grade 4 or above, and Science (if a primary teacher).

For secondary, in order for us to be confident that you have sufficient subject knowledge to enable you to meet the Teachers’ Standards, CCCU would also expect your qualifications and other supporting evidence to reflect suitable expertise in your specialist subject.

5. Are there any other entry requirements?

You must have taught in two schools across the age range in which you wish to qualify: 3-7, 5-11, 7-11, 11-16 or 14-19. Also see point 15 below.

6. What if I can’t find my original GCSE certificates or do not have the relevant GCSEs?

If you have lost your certificates you can apply to the Examining Board for new copies. Make sure you do this straightaway as it can take some time and there will be a fee to pay.

7. What if my qualifications are from overseas?

You must have original copies of your certificates and a NARIC certificate to show that they are equivalent to the required qualifications in England.

8. What if I qualified as a teacher in Australia, Canada, New Zealand or the United States of America (USA)?

You may be recognised as a qualified teacher and can apply for QTS in England without undertaking an additional route to QTS. You will still be required to satisfy any UK Visas and Immigration requirements that may apply to you for the purposes of entering or remaining in the UK to work as a teacher. Visit the GOV.UK website for further details.

9. What if I am recognised as a qualified teacher in an EEA member state?

Visit the GOV.UK website for details.

10. What if I have QTLS status?

If you have QTLS status you should automatically be recognised as a qualified teacher in schools in England. You do not necessarily need QTS. Visit the GOV.UK website for further details. You need to have membership of the Education and Training Foundation. This took over from the Institute for Learning, which closed from November 2014.

11. Are there any assessed assignments to be written?

QTS is gained by providing evidence that you have met all of the Teachers’ Standards. Evidence is gained mainly from the day to day work you do as a teacher and from the written reflections showing how you have met, and are continuing to meet the Teachers’ Standards.

12. How much evidence do I need to present?

You will be asked to compile three bundles of evidence (Pupil Progress Bundles) relating to three separate classes that you have taught to demonstrate that you have met the Teachers’ Standards. You will also be asked to demonstrate competence in the classroom at a very high level. You will also need to complete a Record of Pathway. This will be explained if you are successful at interview.

13. Can I use previous teaching materials as evidence?

You will already have evidence that you are currently meeting the Teachers’ Standards in your teaching and your day-to-day role as a teacher. Any evidence which you wish to present should be fairly recent. The University will advise you on this.

14. How often will I be observed by CCCU?

Your CCCU tutor will observe you teaching as part of their assessment procedures at the Initial Visit, the Intermediate Visit and at Final Assessment.

15. Will I have to do a second school experience?

It is a statutory requirement that you should have taught in at least two schools. This is to ensure that you have gained sufficient breadth and variety of experience. One of these schools should normally be a mainstream National Curriculum School. If you have not taught in two schools you must do this before submitting an Application Form. It must be a minimum of six weeks in a block. Further guidance is on the website.

16. Is there a cost?

Yes. The current cost is £3,800. Fees for 2020/21 have not yet been finalised.

17. I think I meet all the requirements for Assessment Only. What should I do next?

Make sure you have read all the essential information and requirements on the website. If you think you fulfil the criteria, you should complete an Application Form and your school should complete a Required Information Form and send them to the Admissions Department. These documents are on the website.

18. I don’t meet the requirements, can you advise me further?

Other options for you at Canterbury Christ Church are explained on our website. Other useful information can be found on the Department for Education’s Get into Teaching website.

How you’ll be assessed

You must have taught across the full age range in which phase you are applying for.

  • Typically primary assessment will take place across the 3-7, or 7-11 age ranges. This means you must have taught and have evidence of successful teaching in either Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, or Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
  • Secondary Assessment will be in either Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 or Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5. This means that you must have taught and have evidence of successful teaching across either school years 7-11 or school years 10-13. If you are teaching a National Curriculum subject, you must be assessed in Key Stages 3 and 4.

Primary applicants must be actively planning, teaching and assessing the full primary curriculum.

Secondary applicants must be actively planning, teaching and assessing their specialist subject and will be assessed in one subject only.

You will need to be able to deliver the National Curriculum requirements for your phase and/or subject in order to meet the Teacher’s Standards.

The Canterbury Christ Church University tutor will complete a Final Assessment which will involve lesson observations and a check of the Record of Pathway and three “bundles” of evidence. Each of these bundles will contain evidence such as lesson plans, lesson observations, pupil work, assessment data and your own reflections to show that you meet the Teachers’ Standards.

The interview for entry on the pathway will require you to present one such bundle, and you will be given advice on how to improve this and create two further bundles during the pathway. The Final Assessment by the tutor will determine whether you have fully evidenced that you have met and are continuing to meet the Teachers’ Standards and whether they are confident that you would be able to teach in any school setting.

How to apply and course dates

Once you are confident that you meet all the entry requirements you will need to complete an Application Form and ensure your school completes a Required Information form. These forms, along with any accompanying documentation, need to be sent to:

Department of Admissions
Canterbury Christ Church University
North Holmes Road

or electronically to

Application forms download

Required information form - click here 

Primary form - click here

Secondary form - click here

PLEASE NOTE: Due to COVID restrictions we are only accepting applications to this programme at this stage. Interviews have currently been placed on hold until further notice, however, you will be notified if your application will progress to the interview stage.

To ensure suitability for this route, successful candidates will be invited to an interview. Their Assessment Only Coordinator must also attend.

If you are successful at interview, an Initial Tutor visit will be offered. On successful completion of this Initial Tutor visit, you will be enrolled on the Assessment Only Pathway.

The table below shows the deadline by which your complete application with supporting documentation needs to be received in order to be invited to the next interview day:

Deadline for receipt of application Interview Date
Friday 1st January 2021 Wednesday 3rd February 2021
Friday 12th February Wednesday 17th March 2021
Friday 9th April 20201 Wednesday 12th May 2021
Friday 4th June 2021 Wednesday 7th July 2021


Apply now


12 Weeks