Teacher in discussion with headteacher
Tes Institute

How to approach your headteacher about Straight to Teaching

Over 2,000 teaching professionals have followed our Straight to Teaching route to becoming qualified teachers.
03 Apr 23

Whether you’re currently working as an unqualified teacher, or you’re exploring the TA-to-teacher route, here are our tips for getting your school as excited about Straight to Teaching as you are.


How Straight to Teaching benefits your school

Keeping trusted staff like you

You’re already a valued member of your school team. By investing in you and helping you to develop while you continue to work in your current role, your school is retaining someone who knows and is committed to your school culture, values and, most importantly, pupils.

Solving recruitment problems

With an ever-increasing global recruitment crisis, schools need to look at different ways to combat teacher shortages. ‘Growing your own teachers’ is a highly effective way of gaining qualified teachers that are the perfect fit for your school.

Freeing up experienced staff

Increasing the number of qualified teachers at your school can give more experienced staff the time and opportunity to take on extra responsibilities such as SLT, helping to improve progression opportunities and retention rates for all staff.


Get training that’s tailored to you and your school

With our Straight to Teaching programme you’ll receive:

  • Training created by education experts: Our programme directors have more than 80 years of combined experience in education across a range of school leadership, management and training roles, so you can trust them to understand the unique needs and demands of your school.
  • Support from experienced pathway tutors: Most of our pathway tutors have over 10 years of teaching experience, have worked in leadership positions and supported trainee teachers in gaining QTS. During your Initial Needs Assessment (INA), they will tailor your course to your needs, so all the work you complete will be relevant to your learning and development.
  • Access to our online platform: You’ll be assigned online sessions to work through chosen specifically to bridge the knowledge gaps within your teaching. You can also build your portfolio of evidence – that’s required to meet the teachers’ standards and gain QTS – on our online platform. Your pathway tutor will regularly check the evidence you submit onto the platform, ensuring that every piece is relevant.
  • Support from the Tes Institute team: From a query about a qualification to a question about your second school placement, we’ll be on hand daily to provide advice and support. We also try to address frequently asked questions in our blog.

Your headteacher’s action plan

For you to complete the Straight to Teaching course your school will need to commit to:

  • Providing you with sufficient teaching hours: You’ll need to gradually build up to a 50-80% teaching timetable of full classes across two consecutive ages – if you don’t have this already.
  • Supporting you to complete a second school placement: If you haven’t worked in another school, you’ll need to complete at least 20 days of teaching in a contrasting school (or 30 days in an SEN school). These can be non-consecutive, so you can complete just one or two days a week, provided that you’re still building relationships with pupils.
  • Providing you with an in-school mentor: Your mentor should have experience of working with ECTs or trainee teachers and be 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 staff the chance to share best practice and help others.

Why choose Tes Institute?

  • Ofsted accredited: We're a designated SCITT, accredited to provide the Assessment Only route (which forms the assessment part of Straight to Teaching) and School Direct Initial Teacher Training by the Department for Education. We have a tried and tested programme and during our most recent Ofsted inspection in the summer of 2022 we were rated ‘Good’. We’ve also gained re-accreditation for ITT from 2024 and beyond.
  • The numbers: Since the Straight to Teaching programme’s inception in 2013, we’ve helped over 2,000 learners from more than 1,400 schools in England and internationally to start their journey towards QTS or qualify. Our global team has supported schools in 123 different countries and provided almost 14,500 teachers with CPD.

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

If you’re looking for a new teaching assistant role and meet the eligibility criteria for Straight to Teaching (or Assessment Only) this could set you apart from other applicants: 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, email us to arrange a time for us to call. 

If your headteacher is happy to proceed with the programme, you can start your application using the ‘Apply’ button on our course page.

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