How to approach your headteacher about Straight to Teaching

Tes Institute Team


Like the 1,200 others who have enjoyed career development through our Straight to Teaching programme, you have decided that this route is right for you.

So, whether you’re currently teaching at a school or you are exploring the TA to teacher route then here are our tips for approaching your school about starting Straight to Teaching.

Benefits for the school

As the Straight to Teaching learner you will experience a wide range of benefits, but your school has to know that they will benefit from the programme too. Some of them include: 

Keeping trusted staff like you

By investing in an existing member of staff who already knows your school’s ethos, procedures and most importantly the pupils, you are highly valued and obviously committed to your school. Schools want to retain staff like you. 


You will be aware of the media reports of a teacher crisis, so the ability to ‘grow your own’ teachers is never more important than now.  Your success on Straight to Teaching reduces the need for your school to employ temporary external staff. 

Westbrook Primary School’s story

You and your Headteacher can hear about the benefits of the programme and how Straight to Teaching works in schools from Westbrook primary school- a large West London primary school that has used Straight to Teaching to combat recruitment shortages. 

What do Tes Institute provide on Straight to Teaching? 

  • Expertise: A programme run by Directors with more than 80 years’ worth of combined experience in education across a range of school leadership, management and training roles, who can be trusted to understand the unique needs and demands of schools
  • Pathway Tutor: Most of our Pathway Tutors have over 10 years of teaching experience, have worked in leadership positions and have supported trainee teachers in gaining QTS. During your Initial Needs Assessment (INA), they will tailor the programme to your needs, meaning that all the work you complete will be relevant to your learning and development.
  • Online platform: Our online platform allows you to host your portfolio of evidence- required to meet the teachers’ standards and gain QTS. Your pathway tutor will be regularly checking the evidence submitted onto the platform, ensuring that every piece of evidence is relevant.
  • The Tes Institute team: Do you have a query about a qualification or a question about your second school placement? The Tes Institute team deal with these types of questions on a daily basis and are on hand to give advice and support. Why not also check out our blog where we try to address frequently asked questions.

Your Headteacher’s action plan

Now that your school is sold on the programme they will need to know what’s required from their side. Your school has to commit to:

  • Teaching hours: If you are not currently doing so, your Headteacher has to commit to giving you a 50-80% teaching timetable of full classes across two consecutive ages- this can be built up gradually. 
  • Second school placement – if you have not worked in another school, your Headteacher needs to support you to complete at least 20 days of teaching in a contrasting school (or 30 in an SEN school). This can be non-consecutive and if your Headteacher is reluctant to release you, you can complete just one or two days a week, provided that you are still building relationships with pupils.
  • Mentor: The mentor should have experience of working with NQTs or trainee teachers, capable of guiding you towards the Teachers’ Standards. They should have at least two years' experience as a qualified teacher as well as being a subject or phase specialist. Mentoring is incredibly rewarding and gives other staff members the chance to share best practise and help other members of staff like you.

Why Tes Institute?

Ofsted accredited

Tes Institute has NCTL accreditation to provide the Assessment Only route (which forms the assessment part of Straight to Teaching) and our School Direct Initial Teacher Training route has received an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’- with the report praising our cohesive blend of online, hub and school based teacher training.

The Numbers

Since the Straight to Teaching programme’s inception in 2013, we’ve helped over 1,200 learners from more than 1,000 different schools both in England and internationally qualify or start their journey towards QTS. In 2016/17, Tes Institute have supported 2,800 people in their journey towards QTS through School Direct, Straight to Teaching or SKE. 

How about if I'm moving to a new school?

If you’re looking for a new Teaching Assistant job and meet the eligibility criteria for Straight to Teaching (or Assessment Only) this could set you apart from other applicants for the job: showing that you have ambition and drive to become fully qualified- in fact some schools now specifically look to recruit graduates.

Why not visit Tes Jobs to find relevant teaching assistant jobs in your area? 

Next steps

If your Headteacher wants to speak to someone from Tes Institute, arrange a time for us to call here.

If your headteacher is happy to proceed with the programme, request your application form here