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    Hi,
    I'm planning to do the AO route and was wondering if anyone has any information/tips/guidance?
    Are the skills tests the same as the QTS skills tests for PGCE? Does the AO route require a lot of work or will I be able to do it whilst working fulltime? What's the interview like? Are there any essays/assignments involved for the AO route? Which provider did you go through for your AO route?
    Thanks x
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    Hi Zainab

    Yes, the skills tests are the same. I was able to complete the AO route alongside a full-time teaching post BUT it takes commitment and organisation. You do have to complete a portfolio in the same way as a PGCE candidate to show you have met all standards, which includes (among other things) full lesson plans for each observed lesson, evaluations after each observed lesson, unit evaluations, subject knowledge audits...

    The interview was really just a formality. They were friendly and didn't ask anything that I felt was unreasonable, unfair or difficult to answer.

    I went through Educators Abroad, as I work in France. Eventually the University of Reading recommended me for QTS.

    Do let me know if you have any more questions
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    From what I understand AO route is form unqualified teachers or people that have been working in education for several years independently with the assumption that you already have the majority of your portfolio prepared. They literally just help you get QTS

    This is one example of requirements (http://www.pilgrim-partnership.org.u...nt-only-route/)
    You need a degree.
    C or above in Maths, English and Science.
    Passed Skills Tests before interview.
    Can demonstrate that the evidence from your teaching covers two or more consecutive age ranges

    Worcester Uni. require 2 years of previous experience over two schools which includes responsibility for planning, teaching and assessment and teaching your subject specialism.
    (http://www.worcester.ac.uk/courses/a...er-status.html)
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    Yes, that's right. For the majority of providers it is a minimum of 2 years' experience they require. I had been teaching for 5 years when I embarked on the process in 2013.
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    Thank you both for your replies. The course at manchester says 6-12 week assessment but the entire thing is from Jan-May. Any idea what the rest consists of?
    Also, how much of the portfolio would you say is recommended to complete before I apply? I have started, trying to fill in what I can.
    Thank you x
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    I did mine over a full academic year, just to spread it out/give myself more time for observations and to compile my portfolio etc, but you don't have to. I'm guessing Jan-May is a ballpark figure.

    You don't need to start your portfolio before applying really. Tbh a fair amount of it is photocopies of things you already do anyway e.g. showing that you keep records of students' marks.
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    Thank you x
    Does the qualification involve any assignments?
    Do you get a classification grade upon completion?
    Thank you x
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    Only assignments you set yourself, in a way! There are some requirements (e.g. a minimum number of observations in a year, which each involve a follow-up report from you; 2-3 unit evaluations...) but in the end you choose, and end up doing whatever you feel you have to do, in order to prove that you meet the teaching standards. I don't have my whole folder with me now (it lives at my parents' house in the UK ) but just a few examples of things in my folder are a subject knowledge audit, and a 3-page essay reflecting on some education documentaries I had watched.

    You don't get a classification - it's just pass/fail.
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    Ah, makes sense! Thank you!
    So I'm planning to apply for the March-July 2017. I've started the skills test practice online so I can get it over with within the next couple of months and then focus on getting most of my portfolio put together. I was wondering how we know whether we've passed the skills test online? I've doing it from the DFE website but it only gives a percentage and doesn't tell me whether it's enough to pass?
    Thank you,
    Zainab
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    The average pass mark is 63%. So see how that compares to the percentages you're getting at the moment.
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    Ah, brilliant. Thanks
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    Hi Angelil,

    I was thinking about doing the AO route too and you seem so helpful answering questions.
    You still around to be probed further?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by Mal-Mal)
    Hi Angelil,

    I was thinking about doing the AO route too and you seem so helpful answering questions.
    You still around to be probed further?

    Thanks
    Yep, still here! Ask away
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    Thank you!

    How often will you be observed?
    How do I go about constructing the portfolio...are you given a proforma to follow?
    If I share a class with another teacher would that be ok?
    I'm not in a school yet...I'm going to offer myself to schools willing to take on a trainee.

    Cheers again!
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    (Original post by Mal-Mal)
    Thank you!

    How often will you be observed?
    How do I go about constructing the portfolio...are you given a proforma to follow?
    If I share a class with another teacher would that be ok?
    I'm not in a school yet...I'm going to offer myself to schools willing to take on a trainee.

    Cheers again!

    The crucial thing with Assessment-Only is that you need to have been teaching for 2 years minimum already, unqualified, before you can be considered. If you are brand-new to teaching then you will need to look at other routes (e.g. School Direct). I'm not quite sure from your comment which situation applies to you.

    For AO, you need to be observed a minimum of 6 times by your mentor (someone in your school who already has QTS). My colleague observed me for 1 extra hour, though, as there was one lesson I was unhappy with and I requested to be observed again. However, on top of this I was observed for 5 hours by an Educators Abroad staff member (I used this agency to help me with a lot of the admin aspects, but there will be other agencies who can also do this), who recommended me to the University of Reading to ratify my QTS. In my placement school I was then observed 2-3 times by teachers in my department, before my final observation by someone from the university's education department. So in total that came to around 16 hours - not just the minimum of 6! So individual situations definitely vary.

    For the observations, you are given a proforma to follow, as after each observation you AND your mentor both have to write a report - but you are not given proformas for anything else. I am staying with my parents at the moment (where I previously said my portfolio lived) - but since then I have managed to transport the portfolio home to France so ironically I cannot right at this very moment make a list for you as to what I did include in my portfolio But I will make a list at some point and post it here as it may be useful to others.

    I don't know how universities would view class-sharing in the context of AO. I think the 2-year minimum is based on 2 years of full-time teaching so it would be for them to decide if your class-sharing constituted full-time teaching.

    Hope this helps. Let me know if you need anything else
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    Hi,

    Thank our for being informative- it's helped so much. I'm going to start the process so i'll keep you updated.

    Thanks again!
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    Does anyone know how strict the two years worth of experience is? (ie does it mean 2 years full time?)
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    Not sure. You would need to check with a relevant agency (that has experience of assisting candidates achieving QTS via AO) or with a university used to recommending candidates for QTS via AO. However, I would suspect it needs to be 2 years full time.
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    Hi Anna

    I am currently in the middle of this process. The 2 years experience needs to be full time, whole class responsibility and across at least 2 different key stages.

    Hope this helps!
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    Hello everyone,

    I'm about to start the AO process (I have the INA visit on Friday!!!) I just wondered if anybody else comes from an Early Years background? I have been a Nursery Deputy Manager and Early Years Professional before my current job as an Unqualified Teacher in Reception. I guess I'm wondering whether they'll class working in a nursery as 'teaching' and whether that will count towards my 2 years previous experience?

    Thank you!
    Rebecca
 
 
 
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