Leading literacy national professional qualification

A course to help teachers learn how to effectively teach and promote literacy across the whole school, year group, key stage or phase.

Applies to England

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.


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

This course will:

  • take 12 months to complete
  • involve an average of 1 to 2 hours of study each week
  • be a mix of self-study and group sessions
  • have a written assessment
  • start October 2023


Funding to cover the course fees is available for most teachers and school leaders in state funded settings in England.

Learn about funding.

Course content

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

Benefits for you and your school

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.

Course structure

The course covers 6 topics, outlined in the course framework. Providers use this framework to design their course.

The course includes:

  • independent study
  • group coaching
  • face-to-face sessions with other participants

You’ll need to spend 1 to 2 hours a week working on this NPQ.


You can train with one of the following providers:

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


To get your NPQ accreditation you’ll need to complete the course and pass a written assessment (1,500 words).


Before you apply to your chosen training provider, you need to register with the Department for Education.

Learn how to apply for an NPQ.

Published 20 September 2023