School closures during COVID-19

Our Assessment Only route can continue to operate during lockdown and school closures, and we are still able to assess and award Qualfied Teacher Status (QTS) following temporary changes made by the Department for Education (DfE). We have put suitable systems in place to protect our learners and ensure they can continue working towards gaining Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

All application windows remain open and we can continue to accept enquiries for future cohorts. Please contact us for more details.

About the Assessment Only (AO) route

Assessment Only is an alternative route to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) that allows your school staff to be independently assessed against the English Teachers’ Standards and on successful completion, be recommended for QTS.

This route is aimed at school staff with a degree and significant teaching experience who can demonstrate that they already meet the English Teachers’ Standards without the need for any additional preparation. The Assessment Only route takes a maximum of 12 weeks to complete and gives your staff the opportunity to become a qualified teacher without leaving your current school.

If they need some additional preparation before undertaking the Assessment Only process, you might want to consider our Straight to Teaching programme.

Course Delivery

You will need to allow your member of staff approximately 12 weeks to complete the Assessment Only route.

As an approved Assessment Only provider, Tes Institute will assess them in your current school where they will need to present detailed evidence that demonstrates their teaching meets the Teachers’ Standards.

A Tes Institute Pathway Tutor will visit them in school, performing lesson observations and reviewing their portfolio of evidence in order to verify that they meet the criteria before recommending them for QTS assessment.

At the assessment, the independent assessor will observe lessons and scrutinise their portfolio of evidence and, if they are successful, recommend them for QTS.

The DfE will award QTS based on our assessor’s recommendation.

Entry Criteria for Assessment Only

Tes Institute currently offers Assessment Only in:

  • Primary (age ranges 3-7, 5-11 and 7-11)
  • All main secondary subjects (age ranges 11-16, 11-18 or 14-19)
  • Other subjects may be available on request

To achieve QTS via the Assessment Only route, your staff will need to:

  • Be employed in a school in a teaching role during the programme
  • Have achieved a standard equivalent* to a grade 4 or above in the GCSEs English and Maths, also Science if wanting to teach in primary 
  • Hold a first degree granted from a UK higher education institution or equivalent** qualification
  • Have undertaken at least two years teaching experience that includes evidence of planning, marking, assessing and reporting on pupils’ work
  • Have complied a comprehensive portfolio of evidence that demonstrates that they meet the English Teachers’ Standards
  • Provide supporting evidence of having taught in at least two contrasting schools
  • Evidence that they meet the QTS Standards in the ability range and the chosen age range or your teaching specialism 
  • Be able to demonstrate that they have the appropriate intellectual and academic capabilities and personal qualities, attitudes, ethics and values
  • Have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in standard English
  • Have been subject to all available safeguarding and security checks including the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), criminal record checks and children's barred list information
  • Have completed a Health and Fitness declaration  
  • Demonstrate competency in English and maths

To complete an application your staff member will need to provide:

  • Photographic ID (ie, passport or driving licence)
  • A copy of their original degree certificate and NARIC/translation, if applicable
  • A copy of their original GCSE maths and English certificate, and science if they are applying for Primary QTS, and NARIC/translation if applicable or equivalency tests. Provisional statements of results or records of achievement are not accepted
  • Confirmation of passing the professional skills tests for literacy and numeracy
  • Testimonies from schools to evidence two years teaching from both their current main school and a second school placement
  • Fitness to work form (we will provide this form once you receive their portal log in details)

* GCSE equivalency tests are acceptable from any UK university or ITT provider and our own tutors

** Any equivalent qualification must be one single qualification, not an aggregation of a number of separate qualifications.

Assessment Only route start dates

Application deadline Start date
16th September 2019 7th October 2019
7th October 2019 4th November 2019
11th November 2019 2nd December 2019
2nd December 2019 6th January 2020
13th January 2020 3rd February 2020
3rd February 2020 2nd March 2020
3rd March 2020 30th March 2020
16th March 2020 20th April 2020
13th April 2020 5th May 2020

We strongly recommend that you submit your completed application as soon as possible to secure your preferred start date. Applications received after the deadlines above will be pushed into the next available start date.


Total fee Fee without VAT
£3,600 £3,000


Assessment Only fees can be paid for by the participant or school but must be paid in full at the start of the programme. The school may wish to make arrangements with the candidate to repay the fees in installments. Subject to exceptions, VAT will be chargeable at the rate of 20 per cent. Where the school, rather than the individual agrees to pay all or part of the tuition fee they may be able to recover VAT.