What is our Straight to Teaching QTS programme?

Straight to Teaching is a tailor-made, Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) continuing professional development programme and Assessment Only route that allows you to take control of your teaching shortages by upskilling and retraining trusted school staff and helping them gain Qualified Teacher Status while they continue to work in your school. It provides your staff such as unqualified teachers, teaching assistants and cover supervisors with an alternate route to traditional initial teacher training courses.

This teaching course is available to primary and secondary mainstream, independent and SEN schools that are looking to increase their qualified teacher workforce and expand the range of professional development opportunities available to school staff. The length of the programme will depend largely on you member of staff’s existing teaching experience, but the QTS development generally ranges from one to five terms. If they already have significant teaching experience then they may be eligible for our Assessment Only route, which could allow them to gain QTS in just 12 weeks.

Your school will need to provide the applicant with the appropriate teaching hours and classroom time, as well as support and guidance in the form of a dedicated school mentor who is familiar with initial teacher training. The mentor will work closely with TES Institute and an allocated pathway tutor to develop and progress the learner towards independent QTS assessment.

Benefits of our teaching programme

This QTS preparation programme can benefit your school by helping you:

  • Grow and retain your own high-quality teachers at a low cost
  • Address and take control of your teacher shortages
  • Increase the range of professional development opportunities on offer
  • Develop existing staff whilst they continue to work in school
  • Upskill existing staff and promote from within

The programme provides your staff with the ability to:

  • Continue working at your school whilst they gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)
  • Increase their earnings* and career progression opportunities
  • Benefit from a flexible online and in-school programme that fits around existing commitments
  • Receive expert advice, support and guidance from TES Institute
  • Build your confidence and experience at a pace that suits you in a familiar environment

*for full details on qualified and unqualified teacher salaries  visit www.education.gov.uk/get-into-teaching/salary


Qualified Teacher Status Assessment

Once the learner is able to demonstrate that they meet the Teachers’ Standards, they will be considered for an independent QTS assessment in the second phase of the programme. If they successfully pass the qualified teacher status assessment, they will be awarded QTS and can then apply for qualified teacher positions if they wish. 

Straight to Teaching Delivery

The Straight to Teaching programme consists of two separate phases that use a blend of online and in-school experience, support and assessment.

During the first phase, TES Institute will work with the school and the learner to build a programme based on their existing experience. We will design a personalised Qualified Teacher Status preparation plan that will help the learner increase their teaching hours and build an online portfolio of evidence that meets the Teachers’ Standards.

Who is eligible for Straight to Teaching?

Straight to Teaching is available to anyone working in your school with some existing teaching experience and a desire to gain Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). The CPD programme helps cover supervisors, HLTAs, teaching assistants and unqualified teachers to develop toward meeting the Teachers’ Standards by providing them with a blend of online and in-school experience and support.

In order to be eligible for the programme they must meet certain entry criteria, which can be viewed here. As part of this criteria they must hold an undergraduate degree by the time they are assessed for QTS and also be employed by your school.

This continuing professional development programme can be used to develop existing staff who you believe would make confident teachers, given the right support and direction. It can also be used as an alternative to initial teacher training courses and other graduate routes into teaching, giving your school more control over the way that your teacher workforce is developed.

Assessment Only (AO) route

If a member of your staff already meet the Teachers' Standards and has significant teaching experience, they could be suitable for our Assessment Only route. 

TES Institute is an approved Assessment Only provider and will be able to assess the candidate in your school, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate that they meet the Teachers' Standards and provide a portfolio of evidence. Assessment Only will take up to 12 weeks and will involve one of our Pathway Tutors attending the school to undertake lesson observations and review the teacher's portfolio, before making a recommendation as to whether QTS should be awarded.

In order for a member of your staff to be suitable for our Assessment Only route, they will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Are employed in a school for the duration of the Assessment Only period
  • Have achieved a standard equivalent to grade C or above at GCSE level in English and Mathematics. If they teach pupils aged 3-11 they will also need to have achieved a standard equivalent to grade C or above at GCSE level science
  • Hold a degree from a UK higher education institution or equivalent qualification
  • Have passed the literacy and numeracy professional skills tests
  • Have undertaken significant teaching experience in at least two contrasting schools
  • Are able to demonstrate that they meet the QTS Standards across a minimum of two consecutive age ranges for their chosen teaching specialism
  • Are able to show that they have the appropriate intellectual and academic capabilities and personal qualities, attitudes, ethics and values
  • Have the ability to communicate clearly and effectively in standard English
  • Have been subject to and passed the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and criminal records check



Start dates

Straight to Teaching QTS programmes start every half term, providing you with multiple opportunities to develop your staff to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) throughout the academic year.

Application Deadline  Start Date
13th June 2016 5th September 2016
13th September 2016 1st November 2016
4th November 2016 4th January 2017
16th December 2016 20th February 2017
3rd March 2017 24th April 2017
27th March 2017 5th June 2017
15th May 2017 6th September 2017

Straight to Teaching QTS funding and fees

Straight to Teaching fees can be paid in full by either the learner or the school, or split between both parties. The cost of the programme will depend on its length, which will be determined by the amount of teaching experience the learner already has and the school support available.

We will be able to estimate an approximate length once we’ve received an application form from the learner and then we will confirm the length when the pathway tutor first visits the school to complete the initial needs assessment.


Straight to Teaching QTS programme fees

Straight to Teaching programme length 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
High QTS preparation (4 to 5 terms) and QTS assessment £9,000 £7,500


Subject to exceptions, VAT will be charged at the rate of 20 per cent. Where the school, rather than the individual agrees to pay all or part of the tuition fee you may be able to recover VAT. We would encourage schools to consider meeting the tuition fee and making their own arrangements, if they wish to do so, with the individual concerned.

The teaching programme length and fees will be agreed at stage one (initial needs assessment) of the Qualified Teacher Status preparation programme. All fees include the full Straight to Teaching programme and the cost of QTS assessment. A £500 non-refundable deposit will normally be required to secure a place on the programme, which will be deducted from the total fees once the learner begins.

A Professional and Career Development Loan could help your staff gain QTS

Learners can apply for a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL) to help cover the cost of the programme, if they wish. A PCDL is a commercial bank loan and is very different to grants or bursaries as they must be repaid even if the learner does not finish their course. These loans are available for up to 24 months and can be used to help the learner become a qualified teacher. The loan can cover QTS programme fees, living expenses and other associated costs depending on the learner’s circumstances.

Repayments will start a month after they complete or leave the Straight to Teaching programme. The government will pay the interest during the programme and for one month after they leave. For further information on PCDLs visit Professional and Career Development Loans.

Get advice

If you would like to find out more about how Straight to Teaching can help you grow your qualified teacher workforce please click here and we'll be in touch soon.

Unqualified teachers and staff at your school can also contact us directly to discuss the programme, or they can read more about it by clicking here.