How to become a specialist teacher
Approved Teacher Status (ATS)
What is ATS?
Approved Teacher Status (ATS) is an accreditation for those who hold Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and have successfully completed a BDA accredited course for teaching learners with specific learning difficulties/dyslexia.
Holders of ATS are recognised as specialist teachers and are able to conduct informal, curriculum-based assessments and deliver specialist teaching programmes to learners with SpLD/dyslexia up to, and including, 18 years of age.
Who can apply for ATS?
Applicants who have successfully completed a BDA accredited course for ATS within the last three years, and hold Qualified Teacher Status, can apply.
Applicants must have a minimum of two years (1,900 hours) relevant professional experience teaching/supporting learners up to, and including, 18 years of age. This may be a full-time or part-time posts.
You may also apply for ATS via an Individual Merit route if you have significant experience in the teaching of learners with SpLD, however this should not be seen as an alternative to taking a course in teaching learners with SpLD.
How to apply for ATS
To apply for ATS you will need to start your online application via the Application box on the right of this page
- You will need a completed Tutor form signed by your course leader and upload it as part of the application process
- You will need to read and agree to adhere to the BDA Code of Ethics
- You will need to pay the fee of £70 via the credit/debit card link in the application process
- If your employer/school is paying complete the invoice option in the application process
Courses accredited for ATS
All courses are taught at postgraduate Level 7 unless otherwise stated.
Gateway Qualifications have applied for BDA accreditation for ATS/APS and AMBDA programmes, confirmation of this accreditation will be published shortly.
Miles Dyslexia Centre, Bangor University of Wales
Bath Spa University
|Bellavista School, South Africa||Award in Literacy and Dyslexia|
University of Birmingham (eLearning)
University of Brighton
British Dyslexia Association (BDA) (blended learning/eLearning)
|Canterbury Christ Church University||Specialist Assessment for a Specific Learning Difficulty: Dyslexia|
Cardiff Metropolitan University
University of Chester
Dyslexia Action (blended learning)
Edge Hill University
|Herefordshire & Ludlow College||Level 5 Diploma Teaching Learners with Dyslexia/Specific Learning Difficulties|
|Liverpool Hope University||Post Graduate Certificate in Specific Learning Difficulties (Dyslexia)|
Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU)
Postgraduate Certificate Specific Learning Difficulties
University of South Wales
Stranmillis University College, Belfast (eLearning)
Wrexham Glyndŵr University
Progressing to AMBDA
On successful completion of an ATS course specialist teachers can apply for courses leading to Associate Membership of the BDA (AMBDA) which will enable them to conduct formal diagnostic assessments, write diagnostic reports and assess for exam access arrangements.
To find out more visit the AMBDA webpage.
Keeping ATS 'Active'
We expect holders of BDA accreditations to keep their practice up to date and submit a CPD portfolio every three years on the anniversary of their award.
Find out more on the Continuing Professional Development webpage.
With Active ATS you may apply for Professional Membership of the BDA and be included on the BDA Tutor List.
Find out more, visit the BDA Professional Membership webpage.