International Straight to Teaching

Straight to Teaching is a tailor-made professional development programme enabling valued school staff all over the world to prepare evidence to meet the English Teachers’ Standards and apply for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS*) without leaving their current international school**

Why choose Straight to Teaching?

The programme helps International school leaders take control of their teacher shortages by upskilling and retaining trusted school staff, including unqualified teachers and teaching assistants.

It makes use of your staff’s existing teaching experience to help you create a qualified teacher workforce, and provides staff with an alternative route to traditional teacher training courses, with an opportunity to be assessed for and achieve QTS without leaving your school.

Our Straight to Teaching programme will help you:

  • Increase the opportunities for suitable school staff to become successful qualified teachers
  • Provide school staff with a high quality, low cost preparation route and independent assessment for the award of QTS that is flexible, accessible and personalised
  • Implement a workforce development strategy that is right for your school and staff
  • Offer in-school and online CPD so learners can continue to work for you while they qualify
  • Enhance your school’s capacity to grow your own qualified teacher workforce by upskilling and developing trusted school staff


* The title of this award is subject to change due to an ongoing government consultation at the time of going to press. If you are planning to teach outside England please discuss the programme, QTS, and the required teaching qualification for your particular region, with your employing school or the relevant regulatory body before applying.

**So long as the school delivers the English National Curriculum or International Baccalaureate (IB) programme that can be matched to the English Teachers’ Standards, as defined by the Department for Education in the UK


Which schools can benefit from International Straight to Teaching?

This international programme is available to staff of an English speaking school who will teach an English national curriculum or International Baccalaureate (IB) programme that can be matched to the English Teachers’ Standards, as defined by the Department for Education in the UK. Tes cannot offer Straight to Teaching in a wholly IB school but can support schools that teach a blend or a hybrid with the English National Curriculum.

Straight to Teaching is designed for international schools that have teachers or support staff who would like to formally develop their skills to meet the English Teachers’ Standards and gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). It allows those staff to work towards gaining QTS without leaving the school or country to upskill, reducing the impact to both them and your school.

Eligibility criteria for your staff

To be eligible for Straight to Teaching, your staff must have or be working towards having the following qualifications:

  • A degree from a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification (if they are in the process of gaining this they must be in their final 6-12 months).
  • GCSEs (or equivalent) in English language and Mathematics of a minimum grade C/4 under the new grading system. If they intend to teach pupils age 3-11 they will also need a Science GCSE graded at least C/4. If they do not have these then Tes Institute can provide an appropriate equivalency test.

Other criteria for QTS assessment

Before a learner can be assessed for QTS at the end of their programme they will need to have:

  • Passed the Professional Skills Tests in Literacy and Numeracy. These can be taken at approved test centres in various locations in England. You may be required to travel to complete these tests.
  • Undertaken at least 20 days teaching experience in a different school following the English National curriculum (or a school whose curriculum can be matched to it) in the same age ranges as their main teaching experience at your school. If this hasn’t been completed already, it is up to the school and learner to arrange this experience, either with another appropriate international school or one in England.
  • Undertaken significant teaching experience (this can include prior experience as well as experience completed during the Straight to Teaching programme) and are able to demonstrate that they meet the English Teachers’ Standards across the two consecutive age ranges that they have applied for assessment in.
  • Demonstrated that their teaching is consistently good or better and can provide evidence to meet the Teachers’ Standards to a good or better standard.


Course delivery

The programme is delivered through a blend of online and in-school experience, support and assessment, and Tes Institute will provide you with expert advice, support and guidance every step of the way.

Each learner on the course is allocated their own Pathway Tutor, who will be the key point of contact and a crucial part of the delivery of the programme. They will support the learner predominantly online but will also visit your school, where they will undertake lesson observations and meet with you to discuss their progress. Please note that any costs involved in Pathway Tutor visits will vary depending on your school’s location and are not included in the course fee.

All of our Pathway Tutors are also ex teachers and have previously held school leadership positions, so they are well versed in supporting the development of unqualified teachers and understand your need for a qualified teaching workforce.

Straight to Teaching programmes vary in length from one to five terms, depending on the individual’s existing experience. The team at Tes Institute will give them an estimate of how long their programme will take (inclduing preparation and assessment) before they begin, based on the information that they provide in their application form.

Enquiries from Hong Kong

Please note that registration for the [programme name e.g. iPGCE] is under review and it is at the discretion of your employer to recognise the validity of the qualification.”

Assessment Only route

If your staff members already have significant teaching experience and already meet the criteria for QTS assessment, they could become a qualified teacher through our Assessment Only route. This option is considerably shorter than Straight to Teaching as it assumes they already have gathered significant experience and evidence to show that they meet the QTS Teachers’ Standards.

Their evidence will show that they are able to actively plan and deliver effective teaching, over at least a two year period, to their subject or age range/phase and demonstrate that they have had full responsibility for the classroom.

How does the Assessment Only route work?

The process will involve an assessor visiting your school to perform lesson observations and review the staff member’s portfolio of evidence. The assessor will be able to offer some guidance around strengthening evidence to your staff following the Enrolment visit and the actual QTS assessment period usually lasts for 12 weeks.

Candidates for Assessment Only will need to meet the entry criteria and are expected to have significant teaching experience in at least two suitable schools, the appropriate qualifications and have passed the Professional Skills tests before they can be assessed.

Our Assessment Only option costs £3,000 (plus VAT, where applicable).

Straight to Teaching course fees

The cost of the programme will depend on the length of it, which is dictated by the amount of existing relevant teaching experience that your staff have.

Straight to Teaching programme Total fee Fee without VAT
Assessment Only route £3,600 £3,000
Low QTS preparation (1 to 1.5 terms) and QTS assessment £5,400 £4,500
Medium QTS preparation (2 to 3 terms) and QTS assessment £7,200 £6,000


Please note that the fees listed without VAT are for countries outside of the EU. Additional fees may be required to cover travel and subsistence costs of pathway tutors visiting your learner. For schools buying multiple programmes special packages may be available.

Start dates

Straight to Teaching is a flexible programme with start dates throughout the year, so you can begin to develop your staff at a time that is right for you, the member of staff and the whole school community. Programmes begin every half term but are flexible to account for term dates in various countries.


Application Deadline  Start Date
17 January 2020 24th February 2020
24th February 2020 20th April 2020
20th April 2020 1st June 2020
22nd June 2020 7th September 2020


Next steps

Find out more about how Straight to Teaching can help you build a qualified workforce by contacting our enrolment team. You can register your interest in the programme by clicking ‘Get Advice’ and one of our enrolment advisors will send you further information on the programme and arrange an appropriate time to speak to you.