What is our Straight to Teaching QTS programme?

Straight to Teaching is a tailor-made continuing professional development programme that will help prepare learners for application to Assessment Only QTS. This allows you to take control of your teaching shortages by upskilling and developing trusted school staff and helping them to 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 CPD 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 your 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 their confidence and experience at a pace that suits them and 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 meets 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 usually takes 12 weeks to complete 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/4 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/4 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 you meet the QTS Standards across the age range of assessment 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
17th September 2018 5th November 2018
12th November 2018 7th January 2019
11th January 2019 25th February 2019
25th February 2019 23rd April 2019
22nd April 2019 3rd June 2019
24th June 2019 9th September 2019


We strongly recommend that you submit your completed application as soon as possible to secure your preferred start date. Applications received after the deadlines above will be pushed into the next available start date.

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. Schools may 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 unless otherwise stated.


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.