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Skills test update:

For applicants to the Assessment Only Route to QTS you are required to undertake the Skills Tests for any application received prior to 1st April 2020. Please see information below from DFE.

This new approach will come into effect from the start of the next recruitment cycle and will affect all candidates starting ITT courses on or after the 1 April 2020. Those providers offering courses which start before this date should continue to require candidates to have passed the skills test.

Full service provision of the existing skills test will continue to be available until the end of October 2019 to support the busy clearing period of the 2019/20 recruitment cycle. From November 2019 until the end of March 2020 we will offer a reduced level of national provision to support providers offering courses, including Assessment Only and Apprenticeships, starting before 1 April 2020 and legacy cases. We will write to you with details of this reduced level of provision in October. 


The assessment only route allows you to demonstrate that you already meet all of the Teachers' Standards for the award of QTS (see Appendix 2 of Assessment Only Handbook).

This is not a training programme and is only available for unqualified teachers with appropriate educational qualifications and experience. The Assessment Only Route should not be considered as a substitute route for applicants unable to secure places on initial teacher training courses.

This route to qualification is suitable for teachers who do not have QTS, but who have taught for two years or more in at least two schools (or colleges), with substantial experience in two consecutive age phases.

For information about the programme please contact the QTS team directly by emailing

Download the handbook

Age phase requirements

All applicants recommended for the award of QTS will be assessed as meeting the QTS standards across at least two consecutive key stages.

  • Early Years/Foundation stage
  • KS1
  • KS2
  • KS3 
  • KS4
  • KS5