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National Professional Qualification for Leading Literacy (NPQLL)

For: To apply, you must be leading, or aspiring to lead, literacy in any phase of education. 

Course length: 12 months

Accreditation: NPQLL

Programme start date: October and February. 

The Expression of Interest form for an October 2024 start is available under the 'Apply' tab

Cost: If your school is not eligible for full scholarship funding, the cost of this NPQ is £899 + VAT

NPQLL scholarship funding information for October 2024.

Brochure: Download

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We’re pleased to announce that we are partnering with education charity Ambition Institute to deliver the new NPQ in Leading Literacy.

Poor literacy skills are a significant barrier for young people in progressing in all aspects of their education.

In 12 months, participants will become an expert in literacy and leadership and enable young people to benefit from the curriculum to improve their chances of success.

Those doing the training will learn:

  • Gain a National Profession Qualification (NPQ) in Leading Literacy
  • Access the latest evidence-based learning in literacy development
  • Support colleagues to champion literacy
  • At a time and pace that suits their existing timetable.


National Professional Qualification for Leading Literacy (NPQLL) is for
teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading literacy
across a school, year group, key stage or phase. More details are available via the Framework.

Leading literacy teaching is complex. Although the role varies, many phase leaders, key stage leaders, and heads of department (or similar titles) with responsibilities for leading literacy are considered to be part of the middle leadership team. They often contribute to  strategic school development, develop and lead a team of teachers, and their work is focused on supporting effective teaching of literacy across the school.

Literacy leaders need to have a deep understanding of the fundamental importance of literacy and recognise the influence it has on pupils’ future academic achievement, wellbeing and success in life. An excellent literacy leader will have expertise across a number of specialist areas related to their role (e.g. developing pupils’ spoken language) and a passion for literature that they want to share with the school community.

Literacy leaders also need to have a deep understanding of the school and wider community in which they work, enabling them to share their expertise effectively. They must understand how to prioritise professional development to ensure their colleagues have the knowledge, skills, understanding and professional support to teach reading and writing effectively. They must work with their colleagues, collectively enabling their school to keep improving (e.g. implementation). They must understand the relationship between these different domains, how they can change over time and how to contribute to a culture and conditions in which staff and pupils are able to thrive, all while maintaining the highest professional conduct as set out in the Teachers’ Standards.


Ambition Institute has designed this ground-breaking new NPQ to help you learn the essential knowledge and skills to successfully lead high quality, literacy development and teaching in your school.

Ambition’s approach uses the latest research to help you put your learning into practice. You’ll train alongside other literacy leaders with similar responsibilities.

This is a new National Professional Qualification (NPQ) developed by the Department for Education (DfE). Each of the new NPQs share the same common language and framework to help drive improvement across schools and other educational settings.

With no project work and minimal time out of school, this NPQ is designed to fit around your busy timetable.

Benefits for you

Make a real difference

This programme will help you to offer all children in your school access to high-quality literacy in their education.

Excel at literacy leadership

Become a true champion of literacy. You’ll develop a thorough understanding of how you can improve literacy in your subject, phase and school, using the latest evidence-based research.

Build a network

You’ll have the opportunity to connect with other literacy leaders, sharing your experiences and building a strong support network.

Learn at your own pace

This programme is designed to fit with your busy teaching role and can be completed in bite-size chunks around your existing schedule.

Tailor your training

The programme allows you to apply theory to your school context.

Benefits for your school

Build brighter futures

By expertly championing literacy leadership in your school, you can make sure that every young person has the literacy skills to succeed across all curriculum areas.

Improve literacy at all levels

Participants will work on applying learning and improving literacy across your school and different subject areas – and support colleagues to do this too.

Create a ‘golden thread’

The new NPQs are all aligned. Your literacy leaders will benefit from an evidence-based framework with a common language which they can pass on to their colleagues.

Put knowledge into practice

This programme gives literacy leaders a comprehensive and accessible evidence base. This allows them to bridge the gap between what they know and how to apply it effectively in your school, to improve literacy and outcomes for pupils.

Invest in your leaders

By aligning staff professional development with wider school improvement priorities, you can make sure all pupils have access to high quality literacy support in their education.


This programme follows the Department for Education’s National Professional Qualification: Leading Literacy Framework.

You will:

  • Learn how to support staff, of all subject specialisms, to develop pupils’ language and literacy skills
  • Learn how pupils develop aspects of literacy, including:
    • understanding how children learn to talk, and how developing effective spoken language supports literacy development at every age and stage
    • understanding how children learn to become fluent readers and how teachers can help with this, from primary all the way through to secondary
    • exploring the importance of subject-specific vocabulary and different strategies to teaching this
    • knowing how to support pupils' writing – whether learning to write in primary school, through to writing academically at key stage five
  • Learn how to support, develop and teach pupils literacy using evidence-informed approaches
  • Learn how to lead literacy through curriculum, culture and motivation
  • Understand how effective literacy education can support your school
  • Contribute to effective professional development for literacy, linking it to teaching, the curriculum and assessment across the school.

Note: programme content is subject to change.

How you will learn

Each of the six courses within the programme is taught through a combination of independent self-study modules, a facilitated live clinic, and a peer-led community session. The programme starts with a one-day live conference.

Note: programme content is subject to change.


The assessment window starts at the end of the 12-month programme and runs for three months. During this time, participants will be given an eight-day window to sit an ‘open book’ style assessment in which they respond to a short case study.

There are two assessment windows every year, and participants can sit the assessment two times, if they need to.

You need to complete the course to qualify for the NPQ accreditation.

Exceed Teaching School Hub will offer a webinar and live clinic in advance of the assessment window to support participants.


To apply, you must be leading, or aspiring to lead, literacy in any phase of education.

For example, you might be a head of literacy or literacy coordinator at your school or multi-academy trust.

Please note: any eligible participants who are withdrawn from a NPQ programme will not be eligible for funding for the same programme in the future. Only apply if you are 100% committed and confident that you can meet all the programme requirements.

Please complete the Intention of Application form here if you wish to apply for the NPQLL: