Second Chances

Photo by Live Life Happy


“I have always done these things, now I know why I do them” she said, not realising the impact of her words. My heart leapt for joy as I reflected on how I have always known why I do these things; to make a difference. To facilitate that second chance for those to whom life has not always provided opportunities. I grew up in a family where my mother, who had always wanted to teach, got her second chance from a leaflet pushed through the letter box; “Do you think you could teach? Are you interested in teaching infant children?” She took this chance and at 42 years of age became a reception class teacher. She had been fortunate enough to go to Brownhills Grammar School until the age of 14 when she unfortunately had to leave to take up an office job with the Co-op, which enabled her to financially support her four younger brothers.



The Assessment Only Route to Qualified Teacher Status can provide that opportunity for those experienced practitioners who desire to teach, to lead the learning in the classroom and to fulfil their potential.


The AO route is intended for very experienced graduate teachers without QTS.  Our programme is predominately aimed at colleagues who wish to be assessed for the Early Years and Primary phases of education.   We will also consider applicants working in special schools, using the Primary National Curriculum and colleagues working in Middle Schools.   We are based near to Stoke on Trent and will assess colleagues working in Stoke, Cheshire or Staffordshire schools or who are within a 35 mile radius of our base (ST5 3PJ).  Applicants will have a wealth of prior teaching experience. Many will be currently employed as unqualified teachers or Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs). All will have considerable teaching experience across two consecutive age phases. This experience will include responsibility for planning, teaching and assessment of whole classes of fifteen pupils or more during the last 2-3 years prior to commencement of the 12 week assessment period. This experience should be gained across a minimum of two different settings. You must have been responsible for teaching and planning in both schools. This experience should have been gained within three years of the AO commencement date.


If you feel that this might be for you, don’t hesitate; check out the Assessment Only section on our website.


Sandra Hearson, Assessment Only, Personal Tutor.
Find out more about Sandra's background here:

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