National Professional Qualification in Leading Literacy (NPQLL)

In 12 months, you will become an expert leader of literacy and learn its importance in enabling young people to reach their full potential.

  • Gain a National Profession Qualification (NPQ) in Leading Literacy
  • Support colleagues to champion literacy
  • Access the latest evidence-based learning in literacy development
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Why us?

Applications have now closed for our spring 2024 NPQ cohorts. We expect to be delivering NPQs in autumn 2024. Register your interest now to hear about future NPQ cohorts.

Choose our NPQ in Leading Literacy and you’ll be joining over 25,000 teachers and school leaders (as of November 2023), who have decided on Ambition to complete their NPQ since they were launched in 2021.

On our NPQLL, you’ll benefit from our evidence-informed curriculum to help you put your learning into practice in your school setting.

Throughout the course, you’ll get access to the key research on school literacy. Rather than spending your time sourcing the latest insights, you’ll instead focus on putting your learning into practice.

Our ‘little and often’ approach means you’ll need on average just one hour per week to engage in our NPQs, helping you to fit your NPQLL around your timetable.

And with our growing network, you’ll train alongside fellow teachers with similar responsibilities, with content focusing on the key challenges you face in your role.

Plus, on our NPQs there’s no large project at the end. Instead, you’ll sit an ‘open book’ assessment with support via a live webinar and clinics available to help you get the most from your NPQ.

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 informed 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.

Frequently asked questions

Who is the NPQLL programme for?

The NPQ in Leading Literacy is designed for teachers who 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.

How long does the NPQLL programme last?

The NPQ in Leading Literacy is a twelve-month programme, with a mixture of live, facilitated sessions and self-directed learning.

How does the NPQLL programme accommodate busy schedules?

The NPQ in Leading Literacy is designed to fit around your schedule with a 'little and often' approach that aligns with insights from the science of learning.

Is the NPQLL programme fully funded?

The NPQ in Leading Literacy is fully funded for teachers and school leaders, at eligible schools and organisations in England, by the Department for Education. Find out more about the eligibility criteria in the 'Funding' tab.

Are there any specific requirements to enrol on the NPQLL programme?

To be eligible for the NPQ in Leading Literacy, you must be a serving teacher in a school or eligible organisation in England and have completed your early career training.


Our NPQ in Leading Literacy course follows the Department for Education’s National Professional Qualification: Leading Literacy Framework.

On this programme, you will learn how:

  • to support staff, of all subject specialisms, to develop pupils’ language and literacy skills
  • pupils develop aspects of literacy, including how children learn to talk, how effective spoken language supports literacy development at every age, how children learn to become fluent readers and how teachers can support this across every stage, and explore the importance of subject-specific vocabulary and different strategies to teaching this
  • to support pupils' writing – whether learning to write in primary school, through to writing academically at key stage five
  • support, develop and teach pupils literacy using evidence-informed approaches
  • lead literacy through curriculum, culture and motivation
  • effective literacy education can support your school
  • to 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'll learn

Our NPQLL is designed so you can engage in live, facilitated sessions alongside modules you can complete at any time.

Over 12 months, our NPQLL includes:

  • One full day conference.
  • Six courses (each course lasts about six weeks and loosely aligns with a school half term).
  • Each course includes six modules.
  • Five two-hour clinics (facilitated sessions).
  • One two-hour assessment clinic.
  • Three communities (1hr15mins group sessions).

The content is delivered through blended learning. This includes 8 hours of in-person delivery (v via 1 full day conference and at least 1 in-person twilight session), a mix of real-time, interactive online sessions and self-guided modules you complete in your own time.

The programme includes facilitator-led sessions with your peer group that focus on decision making. The programme starts with a one-day live conference.

Note: programme content is subject to change.


Join a central cohort and gain a national network of peers or you can choose an NPQ cohort in your area with one of our regional partners with all the contextual benefits of your area.

With our regional partners, you’ll benefit from our expert curriculum design along with a more tailored experience linked to your local context. Either way, we work to give you the best possible experience.

Find a cohort that’s local to you in our list of partners here.

What our partners can do for you

Ambition Institute provides high-quality content and materials, built on our experience in schools and other learning environments, and our deep knowledge of evidence and practice.

Our partner in your region will put this knowledge into context and manage your experience on the programme, from facilitation to day-to-day support.

The timings and methods of activity, sizes of cohorts and the cost of the programme may vary across delivery partners.


Our NPQ courses no longer include a large project at the end. Instead, you’ll sit an ‘open book’ style assessment in which you respond to a short case study.

The assessment window starts at the end of the 12-month programme and runs for three months. During this time, you’ll be given an eight-day window to complete the 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.

We will offer a webinar and live clinic in advance of the assessment window to support you.



The spring 2024 cohorts may be the last to be fully funded by the Department for Education.

Funding information for future cohorts will be announced shortly.

Register your interest now to hear about future NPQ cohorts.

DfE-funded scholarships were available for this NPQ for all those who meet the following criteria:

  • Have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading literacy in their school.
  • Work in a state-funded school or organisations, including those that offer 16-19 age places in England.

Extended eligibility.

Organisations now eligible to access scholarships include:

  • independent special schools.
  • virtual schools (Local Authority run organisations that support the education of children in care).
  • hospital schools not already included in other categories of eligible organisations.
  • young offender institutions.

If you do not work in an eligible school, the NPQ in Leading Literacy costs £899 plus VAT.


Applications have now closed for our spring 2024 NPQ cohorts. We expect to be delivering NPQs in autumn 2024.

Register your interest now to hear about future NPQ cohorts.

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.

NPQs are not suitable for active Early Career Teachers.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] and a member of our team will be in touch with next steps.

Interested in the programme?