Straight to Teaching

Our Straight to Teaching course will prepare you for qualified teacher status (QTS) assessment via our Assessment Only route while you continue to work at your current school. It’s a high quality, low-cost route to becoming a qualified teacher that’s personalised to you and your school.

Straight to Teaching

Key details

  • Duration

    1-5 terms
  • Location

  • Cost

    £4,500-£7,500 plus VAT (as applicable)
  • Funding

  • Level

    primary and secondary

Course description

Straight to Teaching is a flexible in-school and online QTS preparation course. It allows you to continue working as a TA, higher level teaching assistant or unqualified teacher as you prepare for QTS assessment via our Assessment only route.

The course is personalised to your needs and based on your current teaching experience. It will help you to work towards having two years of teaching experience in two schools, enabling you to develop your teaching without leaving your school and pupils.

If you don't already have experience of working in a second school, you can gain this while on the course. The minimum requirement is 20 days if you're employed in a mainstream school and 30 days if you're employed in an SEND or alternative provision setting. Ideally you would take this as a block to immerse yourself in the teaching and life of the school, but to provide full flexibility, we offer a minimum requirement of one day a week.

You'll be assigned a Tes Institute pathway tutor who will support you throughout your journey to make sure you're meeting the Teachers' Standards. When you're ready, we'll support you through to the final QTS assessment via our Assessment Only route.

Our Straight to Teaching course will help you to:

  • Become employed as a fully qualified teacher

  • Potentially increase your salary by up to £7,000* per year

  • Become a teacher who can inspire their students to make exceptional progress

  • Share best practices with colleagues

  • Potentially play a more significant role in school leadership and management

You can learn more about this course by watching our on-demand webinar

Straight to Teaching in specialist settings

You can apply for Straight to Teaching if you’re working in a specialist setting such as a specialist unit attached to a mainstream school, a pupil referral unit, a specialist school, including SEHM, SpLD or PMLD, an alternative provision or a residential setting.

The focus for your teaching will be the cognitive age of the students you teach and the curriculum taught, not the actual age of your students. For example, you may be teaching the KS1 curriculum in a secondary SEND setting to 11-16 year olds, so your age range could be 3-7 or 5-11.

Find out more

Straight to Teaching in international schools

Straight to Teaching can also support international applicants. You'll need to be teaching the British curriculum relevant to the QTS specialism you're applying for. We may consider previous experience teaching a different curriculum if this can be mapped to the British curriculum. You'll need to meet all other requirements.

Please remember QTS is age phase or subject-specific focused. You can only be recommended for QTS as a subject specialist in the secondary age phase. Qualifying for QTS in the primary phase requires you to be teaching the core and foundation subjects.

Entry requirements

Our course is aimed at school staff such as unqualified teachers, TAs or higher level teaching assistants. It is suitable for most school settings including state funded mainstream schools, SEND settings, faith schools, independent schools and international schools teaching the British curriculum.

If you have two years’ teaching experience in two schools in the QTS specialism you're apply for, you may be eligible to go straight to our Assessment Only route, which assesses you for QTS within three months.

To be eligible for our Straight to Teaching course you must:

  • Be employed in a school in a teaching role by the time you start the course

  • Hold a degree from a UK higher education institution (or equivalent qualification) or be in the final year of completing one. If your degree was completed outside of the UK you'll need to provide an ENIC statement to demonstrate the comparability of your qualification

  • Have achieved at least a grade C or 4 at GCSE level (or equivalent) in English language and mathematics (and science if you intend to teach pupils aged 3-11). GCSE equivalency tests can be taken during the course if needed – we can offer guidance with these

  • Have the express agreement of your current or intended employer (school) to support you to prepare for QTS through Straight to Teaching and be assessed via our Assessment Only route (your school will be asked to sign a working agreement with Tes Institute). This support includes the appointment of a suitable member of staff to act as a school mentor

  • Have the relevant experience and skills to succeed through the Straight to Teaching course, including a minimum of one term of group or whole class teaching experience

  • From the start of the course you'll need access to a minimum of 50-80% of a typical teacher's timetable. You'll need to be responsible for planning, marking and assessing whole classes that are typical for your school

  • Have the health and physical capacity to teach

  • Have been subject to and passed the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and criminal/other records check

Course delivery

Our Straight to Teaching course is delivered through a mix of in-school experience and online learning and theory, enabling you to develop your teaching and build evidence to demonstrate that you meet the English Teachers’ Standards.

You'll have access to an extensive online library of subject-specific and pedagogy modules. Your pathway tutor will guide you to specific topics to close any gaps as your practice develops. You'll have full access to all modules for self-study and to support research opportunities as you develop your reflective and analytical skills.   

Throughout your course, you’ll be supported by your Straight to Teaching pathway tutor and your school mentor. Your pathway tutor will visit you face-to-face, arrange virtual Keeping in Touch (KIT) meetings, and provide feedback online via your learning platform as you develop through the course.

The length of your Straight to Teaching course will be based on your existing teaching experience and will be designed in collaboration with you and your school.

Course leader

Laura Marshall Learner story image

Laura Marshall

Laura is passionate about teacher training and development in nurturing our next generation of teachers. Laura has over 20 years of experience across a variety of teacher training programmes. She believes that supporting teachers in their professional development leads to improved outcomes therefore ensuring every child has access to high-quality education. Currently overseeing the Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) programme, Straight to Teaching QTS preparation programme and Assessment Only, Laura is honoured to play a pivotal role in supporting candidates in finding the right route for them in their education career journey, fulfilling dreams and aspirations.

Deputy course leader

Phillipa Bild Blog image

Phillipa Bild

Phillipa joined Tes Institute after a 20-year career in primary education, most recently as a head of school. Phillipa is passionate about professional development and made it a priority for all her teachers and support staff, especially in the wake of the global pandemic. After joining Tes Institute as a pathway tutor in 2022 she is delighted to be part of our mission to drive up standards in teaching.

Course fees and funding

Fees vary depending on the amount of preparation you need to get ready for QTS assessment. All fees include the Straight to Teaching course and the cost of QTS assessment via our Assessment Only route.

You can pay in full at the start of your course, or pay termly or monthly to spread the payments across the length of your course.

Straight to Teaching

Total fee including VAT

Fee without VAT

Short QTS preparation

(1 to 1.5 terms)

and Assessment Only



Medium QTS preparation

(2 to 3 terms) and

Assessment Only



High QTS preparation

(4 to 5 terms) and

Assessment Only



A private loan company may provide you with a flexible loan with long-term repayment options to help you pay for course fees and other living expenses.

If you're an international applicant, we'll aim to find you an in-country pathway tutor and assessor to support you through blended face-to-face and virtual visits. Where pathway tutors and assessors aren't available, you'll be required to pay and provide costs for flights, hotel, transfers and sustenance for the visit. These will be discussed with you.

Course application and start dates

Courses start every half term.


Course start dates

Straight to Teaching application deadline Straight to Teaching start date
Monday 1st July 2024 Monday 9th September 2024
Monday 7th October 2024 Monday 4th November 2024
Monday 2nd December 2024 Monday 6th January 2025
Monday 3rd February 2025 Monday 24th February 2025
Monday 24th March 2025 Monday 28th April 2025
Monday 12th May 2025 Monday 2nd June 2025

Krishna's story

Krishna Sunal, Tes Institute learner
Being able to study and connect with other student teachers was a great experience. The connection was one of the highlights of the course.
Krishna Sanal, Former Straight to Teaching learner

Next steps

You can apply for our Straight to Teaching route by:

  1. clicking the 'Apply' button
  2. emailing your Confirmation of School Support Form to
  • 1
  • 2
    Application review and confirmation
  • 3

Documents you will need

Please print off the Confirmation of School Support form below for a Senior School Manager (or staff member with equivalent authority) at your employing school to review and sign.

These must be hand-signed (wet signature) by your head teacher.

Confirmation of School Support formDownload

Apply for Straight to Teaching

Need more information?
Contact us about this course.


* On average, a fully qualified teacher in England earns approximately £6,000-£7,000 more a year than their unqualified counterpart. For full details about qualified and unqualified teacher pay scales, visit