National professional qualification

Leading literacy


Teachers and leaders
Course duration
12 months
Average weekly study time

1 to 2 hours

Study type

Mix of self-study and group sessions

Assessment type

Reflection based on case study (1,500 words)

Next start

October 2023

Course overview

This one-year course will help you gain confidence and develop skills in:

  • running literacy improvement strategies
  • supporting colleagues who want to develop their pupils’ reading

Who this course is for

This course is for teachers and middle leaders who have, or want to have:

  • responsibilities for leading literacy across a school, year group, key stage or phase

What you’ll learn

This course covers how to support colleagues to develop all pupils’:

  • language capability and wider understanding of language
  • word reading
  • reading comprehension
  • writing skills

You’ll also learn how to:

  • contribute to effective professional development linked to teaching, curriculum and assessment across the school
  • design and implement literacy improvement strategies

How you and your school could benefit

Wider understanding of language

You’ll be able to use techniques from the course to help your school’s development of pupils’ language and vocabulary.

Practical skills to encourage reading

You’ll learn how to build a school-wide culture that promotes reading for pleasure.

Making use of existing resources

The course has been designed to ensure teachers responsible for leading literacy don't need to create new resources.

Help with teaching phonics effectively

You’ll be able to support colleagues to develop all pupils’ word reading by ensuring the school uses systematic synthetic phonics methods.

Promoting joined-up handwriting

The course emphasises the positive impact that effective and careful teaching of letter formation and joined-up handwriting can have.

Learning with people from different education settings

Take advantage of training alongside a diverse group of fellow educators with lots of different perspectives. You’ll learn from each other’s experiences and be able to bounce ideas off each other during group sessions and collaborative practical tasks.

Course structure

The DfE-approved providers offering this NPQ have designed their course content around an evidence-based framework.

The course covers 6 topics, with a mix of self-study and group coaching sessions, as well as face-to-face sessions with other participants.

On average you will need to spend between 1 and 2 hours per week working towards completing this NPQ. Where possible, you should do this during dedicated career development time in school hours.


You can train with one of the following providers:

They work with delivery partners, such as teaching school hubs, to provide training.

How this NPQ is assessed

To get your NPQ accreditation you’ll need to:

  • complete the course
  • pass a written assessment (1,500 words) at the end

Your course provider will be able to give you more details about how the assessment works.

Course funding

Full DfE funding, with no cost to the participant, is available to staff from:

  • state-funded schools in England
  • state-funded organisations that offer 16 to 19 places in England
Funding is currently available if you start your NPQ in the 2022 to 2023 academic year or the 2023 to 2024 academic year.

You can do more than one NPQ, but will only be eligible for funding for each NPQ once. If you withdraw or fail your course you cannot get funded again for the same NPQ.


Step 1

Speak to your line manager to get support for you doing this NPQ.

Step 2

Once you have your school’s approval, they’ll be able to help you choose a training provider.

Step 3

Register with us so we can confirm you’re eligible to take this course for free.

We’ll give your details to your chosen provider once you have registered. They’ll then send you an application form.