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NPQLL: National Professional Qualification for Leading Literacy

A teacher who has, or aspires to have responsibility for leading literacy across a year group, key stage, phase or school.

Autumn cohort 2022

About the programme


Why join UCL?

The UCL Centre for Educational Leadership looks forward to working with you on their newly designed NPQLL supporting you to deepen your knowledge of Leading Literacy within a collaborative and open learning environment.

Based on the latest research evidence for effective literacy pedagogy, this new programme will enable you to develop your knowledge and skills and put them into practice in your school context.

Our programmes put you and your school at the heart of the programme through a professional learning group approach that helps you to share your thinking and understanding within a well-planned framework.

You will experience a blended approach of face to face, self-directed study materials and in school support to enable you to progress professionally and develop networks to enhance your career.


What will you learn?

  • Teaching - you will use what you learn  to support teachers at all levels in your school to develop their knowledge of literacy development and literacy learning and to improve their literacy teaching, including language, reading and writing.
  • School culture - you will learn how to enhance literacy teaching and to champion all aspects of literacy across a school, strengthening your ability and that of your colleagues to contribute to a school culture in which pupils can thrive and succeed. 
  • Professional development - you will deepen your knowledge of the best ways to provide effective professional development in literacy curriculum, pedagogy and assessment across the whole school community. You will engage in leading and developing a team of teachers focused on improving literacy attainment across your school.
  • Subject and curriculum – you will learn about the fundamental importance of literacy and recognise the impact it has on pupils’ future achievement and life chances. You will learn how to support and improve high quality teaching, learning and assessment in your subject or phase. You will acquire the essential knowledge, skills and concepts that underpin successful literacy teaching.
  • Implementation – focusing on literacy, you will learn how to implement change successfully within your context by understanding the stages of implementation and applying them with the support of your facilitators and colleagues.

What are the benefits for your school?

We know that our children and young people need teachers who are committed to their education and are confident learners themselves. Our NPQ programmes have been developed with teachers and leaders to:

  • Create professionally confident teachers and leaders.
  • Grow the next generation of leaders with the skills and knowledge to use the evidence-base for the benefit of their children and young people.
  • Retain the best teachers who are excellent, collaborative role models for their schools and communities.
  • Inspire leaders who can harness the power of rich learning environments for their children and young people no matter the current circumstances.

Is this programme for me?

Yes, if you are responsible for leading literacy across a year group, phase or school, or aspire to do so in the future. The programme is suitable for teachers in Primary and Secondary phases.


How long will it take?

Twelve months followed by an eight day open book summative case study task.


When will it start and how much will it cost?

The programme will start in October 2022. There will be an induction conference taking place on two dates in October 2022 which will be confirmed during the application process. Participants are required to attend one of these conferences.

The programme is fully funded in English state schools (read more below). The cost is £885 for those in independent schools. British International Schools, contact us directly for prices.


Are scholarships available for this programme?

Full scholarship funding, with no cost to the participant, for the NPQ in Leading Literacy is expected to be available to all teachers who meet the following criteria:

  • Have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading teaching in a subject, year group, key stage, or phase.
  • Work in a state funded school and state funded organisations that offer 16-19 places in England.

Programme route map

NPQLL programme route map.

Route map (text version)

Module 1
  1. Self-directed study
    Leadership audit, 1hr
    Initial audit of learning shaping the learning to the needs of participants and reflective of their contexts.
  2. Facilitated activity
    Induction conference, 5hrs
    Face-to-face event designed to provide an overview of the programme, expert input, an introduction to Peer Learning Groups and specialist community networking.
  3. Self-directed study
    Online self-directed study, 8hrs
    Module 1 integrated online programme of self-study covering NPQ domain content and reflections.
  4. Facilitated activity
    Peer Learning Group, 3hrs (2 x 1.5hrs)
    Facilitated online event to challenge and support domain learning and translate research into practice linked to implementation project.
  5. Self-directed study
    Learning journal, 1hr
    Reflection on learning and Formative Assessment Task activity, work-based learning and Peer Learning Groups.
  6. Facilitated activity
    Mentor check-in, 1hr
    Line Manager check-in on progress.
Module 2
  1. Facilitated activity
    Peer Learning Group, 3hrs (2 x 1.5hrs)
    Facilitated online event to challenge and support domain learning and translate research into practice linked to implementation project.
  2. Self-directed study
    Online self-directed study, 8hrs
    Module 2 Learning Audits and  integrated online programme of self-study covering NPQ domain content and reflections.
  3. Self-directed study
    Learning journal, 2hrs
    Reflection on learning and Formative Assessment Tasks, work-based learning and Peer Learning Groups.
  4. Facilitated activity
    Mentor check-in, 1hr
    Line Manager check-in on progress.
  5. Facilitated activity
    Peer Learning Group, 3hrs (2 x 1.5hrs)
    Facilitated online event to challenge and support domain learning and translate research into practice linked to implementation project.
Module 3
  1. Self-directed study
    Online self-directed study, 8hrs
    Module 3 Learning Audits and  integrated online programme of self-study covering NPQ domain content and reflections.
  2. Facilitated activity
    Peer Learning Group, 3hrs (2 x 1.5hrs)
    Facilitated online event to challenge and support domain learning and translate research into practice linked to implementation project.
  3. Self-directed study
    Learning journal, 2hrs
    Reflection on learning and Formative Assessment Task activity, work-based learning and Peer Learning Groups.
  4. Facilitated activity
    Mentor check-in, 1hr
    Line Manager check-in on progress.
  5. Facilitated activity
    Consolidation conference, 5hrs
    Face-to-face event designed to review programme learning, share impact of work-based learning and provide an overview of summative assessment activity.

Runs over 12 months > Implementation project - work-based reflective learning integrating research with practice and aligned to the EEF process model for school improvement.

After the 12 months > Final summative assessment.


How to apply

To apply, please go to DfE NPQ Registration Service and choose UCL as your provider | Find out more about the application process.


What do participants say?

I have really enjoyed taking part in the National Professional Qualification for Middle Leaders (NPQML) to have professional discussions with colleagues across my local area about how best to use educational research in order to lead with impact. It has encouraged me to launch a project which has been a rewarding experience and had a positive impact on the students I teach. The course is well structured and thought out, I have been impressed with their flexibility during the pandemic. It has given me more focus and made me more reflective and strategic. I would really recommend this to staff who are looking to become a middle leader or who have recently taken on this responsibility.
Participant