DRET Teaching School Hub

NPQ for Leading Literacy

NPQ Leading Literacy

National Professional Qualification in Leading Literacy

DRET Teaching School Hub work in partnership with the National Institute of Teaching (NIoT) as an Associate College to deliver NPQ Programmes. The NIoT are rooted in schools; they know the unpredictability of school life – the day-to-day challenges that teachers face. Their time-efficient NPQs have been drawn up specifically to meet the needs of time-poor, commitment-heavy teachers and leaders. Teachers know best what teachers need – our programme will give you only the information essential to providing the best education possible for your pupils.

Our NPQLL is designed for ambitious classroom teachers and middle leaders, who want to – or already – have responsibility for leading literacy across a school, year group, key stage or phase.

Developed by teachers for teachers, the programme will harness the NIoT’s leading research and putting it to immediate, practical use. Because our programme has been designed by teachers, there will be no time wasted: it will provide only the information essential to helping you do your job efficiently, effectively and in a way that inspires pupils to success.

All literacy teachers want their pupils to learn to read smoothly, and to take real pleasure from reading.

Our NPQLL will provide access to cutting-edge research, developed by people who know what teachers need. You’ll be supported in putting this into practice, designing and implementing literacy-improvement strategies. You’ll also learn the best ways to support colleagues as they develop pupils’ reading, writing and wider understanding of language.

At the heart of it all will be your pupils. Everything you learn will help ensure that your pupils develop a genuine love of reading, and are able to live the fullest and most successful lives they possibly can.




  • Essential knowledge: There is no fluff – every minute spent working towards an NPQLL will enable you to make a greater impact in your job.
  • Research-informed practice: You’ll have access to the latest and best evidence of what works in education, and will be able to apply this to developing pupils’ language and vocabulary.
  • Create a reading culture: You’ll learn how to build a school culture that encourages reading for pleasure.
  • Joined-up learning: The techniques you learn will support the teaching of synthetic phonics and joined-up handwriting.
  • Community of educators: You’ll be part of a diverse community of educators, all learning from one another during the course – and potentially afterwards, too.
  • Fulfilment: The better and more knowledgeable you are at your job, the more enjoyable and exciting you will find it – and that enthusiasm will be passed on to your pupils.


What you'll learn:

  • How to support colleagues to develop pupils’ language capability and wider understanding of language, word reading, reading comprehension and writing skills
  • How to design and implement literacy-improvement strategies
  • How to contribute to effective professional development related to teaching, curriculum and assessment across the school

How you'll learn: 

The programme is made up of four modules, studied over 12 months. Each module contains a combination of self-study units, locally delivered in-person sessions, online masterclasses delivered by specialists, practice clinics and virtual visits to a school.

 Time commitment:

 On average, participants will spend between one and two hours a week working towards the NPQLL. Where possible, study should be done in dedicated career-development time during school hours.


In order to receive NPQLL accreditation, participants will need to complete the programme and achieve a pass mark in a written, ‘open book’ style, structured assessment of up to 1,500 words.

We will support participants with writing clinics before they embark on gaining their accreditation.

The assessment itself takes place over an eight-day window. There are two assessment windows per year and participants have two opportunities to take part.  


For staff from state-funded schools or 16-19 organisations in England, places are fully funded by the DfE. There will be no cost to the participant.

You can study towards more than one NPQ, but will only be eligible for funding for each NPQ once. If you withdraw from or fail your programme, you will not be funded again for the same NPQ.


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.

Apply for the NPQLL here