Schools create the majority of AST posts, which are filled through internal or external recruitment. Local authorities (LAs), federations and other collaborative groups of schools can also create AST posts. These AST posts can be based in one school or based across a number of schools. Regardless of how the AST posts are created, ASTs will need to spend 80 per cent of their time in the classroom and 20 per cent of time undertaking outreach, but where the school is subject to special measures or facing challenging circumstances, they can focus on activities within the school.
Headteachers can advertise the post immediately if the post is funded by the school. A small number of posts may be funded through the local authority, and if that is the case, the headteacher will need to agree funding and outreach arrangements with them. Once agreed, the recruitment process can start. Applicants who have not yet successfully met the AST standards will need to be independently assessed against the AST standards.
Academies and Free Schools have the freedom to determine their own staffing structures/ roles to meet their needs.
Funding arrangements for 2013-14 are changing so that they are much simpler and easier to understand, and so that more power is given to headteachers and governors to make decisions about how school funding is spent. The changes mean a number of things but there are two changes that are particularly relevant for funding ASTs:
The first change means that LAs cannot automatically hold DSG back to provide a central AST coordination service. If a group of schools would like the LA to provide that service, they will have to agree to pool budgets and pay the LA for it.
The second change means that a school cannot receive a specific allocation of funding for its ASTs through the local formula as the specified list of 12 factors does not include one for ASTs. Individual schools with ASTs may then choose to charge other local schools for their AST outreach work so they can recoup their costs.
In the case of maintained schools experiencing financial difficulties, local authorities can retain funding centrally to support schools if their School Forum members agree.
No. Teachers can only be assessed against the AST standards for AST posts that have already been created or identified.
No. Any teacher with qualified teacher status (QTS) is eligible to apply for assessment against the AST standards.
Prospective candidates need to ensure that they have the required evidence to demonstrate that they meet the AST standards. They should also be aware that before passing a teacher's application for AST assessment to the external assessors, a headteacher must first assess them against the standards that apply to their current career stage. From 1 September 2012, assessment will first be against the new Teachers’ Standards (as well as any higher standards that may already apply). In Wales, assessment is first against the Practising Teacher Standards.
Yes, part-time teachers can become ASTs and they are also expected to fulfill the 20 per cent outreach obligation.
Once an AST post becomes available, candidates need to complete the appropriate application form (AST1). Different versions of the form are available on this website. The form should then be passed to the headteacher who will complete the pre-assessment and send to the national assessment agency. Further details about the application process can be found in the AST guidance.
No, although there is likely to be a deadline for applications for the AST post. No applications for assessment can be made after the end of the 2013 summer term.
All applications for the same post should be sent to the national assessment agency with a covering letter, giving brief details of the job description. If the post is funded by the LA, the application(s) should be copied to the LA. The party responsible for the funding of the post will need to complete the funding declaration form. Further information can be found in the AST guidance.
All candidates must undergo a rigorous one-day assessment conducted by an independent assessor. During the assessment the assessor will: observe two lessons, which must be of an excellent standard; conduct interviews with the head teacher, the candidate, other appropriate colleagues, pupils and, ideally parents; scrutinise the evidence to ensure that all the necessary standards are met. Read more information about the AST assessment process.
Completed application forms should be emailed to the contact address on this page. Alternatively you can send by post to:
The AST and ET Team
Babcock 4S Education and Skills
Bay Tree Avenue
The Department has a contract with an independent national assessment agency (Babcock 4S) to carry out the AST assessments. Teachers who applying for AST posts can apply for assessment against the AST standards at no cost to themselves or their school.
Portfolios should include evidence that demonstrates how a candidate meets each of the AST standards, in a format that is easily accessible to the assessor. Candidates might also wish to include evidence of external assessment results with value added analysis etc. The AST guidance contains further information about what candidates might want to include in their evidence portfolios.
Candidates who do not fully meet the standards in their assessment can reapply once they feel they have sufficient evidence to demonstrate that they fully meet the standards. The assessment process will be the same as the original assessment, and will be dependent on an AST post being available.
Candidates will be assessed against all of the relevant standards, even if they met the standards in the original assessment. It is expected that there will normally be a gap of two terms after the original assessment to allow candidates sufficient time to develop the additional expertise and evidence required.
Unsuccessful candidates can request a review of the assessor’s decision. Applications for review should be made within 40 days of the assessment to the Review Officer at the national assessment agency. The full procedure for reviewing AST assessments can be found in Annex D of the AST guidance.
Once a teacher has been successful in their AST assessment they can be appointed to an AST post. The headteacher should notify the national assessment agency using the AST2 form available on this website within two weeks of the appointment. They should also notify the local authority’s AST coordinator if appropriate.
The headteacher and governing body need to determine the AST’s pay range and agree a job description and objectives, including outreach objectives, involving the local authority where appropriate.
National Assessment Agency - AST Unit
Forms available to download in both English and Welsh - to be completed by candidates for Advanced Skills Teacher (AST), the headteacher (or delegated representative) of the school in which the AST will be based.
Guidance for existing Advanced Skills Teachers (ASTs) and information for those considering applying to become an AST.