NPQ in Leading Literacy

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Become an expert in developing literacy in your school.

  • Develop as a specialist in your role.
  • Gain the skills for successful leadership.
  • Learn to effectively support colleagues.
  • Free one-to-one support and coaching.
  • Join a passionate network striving for educational equality.
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Get the tools to create a powerful whole-school literacy strategy.

Benefits

Develop as a specialist in your role 

Gain an understanding of the core principles behind developing language, reading and writing, get practical tools and guidance to lead your school’s approach to literacy, and collaborate with other leaders in similar roles. 

Gain the skills for successful leadership 

Build the expertise to effectively develop others and lead a powerful whole school literacy strategy. 

Learn to effectively support colleagues 

Develop the skills to help colleagues develop literacy across the curriculum – without creating unnecessary workload. 

Free one-to-one support and coaching 

If you work in a school serving disadvantaged communities, you can apply for our free one-to-one support which runs alongside the NPQ in Leading Literacy (NPQLL). This free support comes in the form of an experienced former school leader who will coach and guide you throughout the programme. You can apply for this additional support in your application. If you're applying through one of our delivery partners, please check with them whether you're eligible for this support.

Join a passionate network striving for educational equality 

Share experiences with other school leaders, learn how they’ve faced similar challenges and build a professional network that will support you throughout your career. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Programme

Is the NPQLL programme for me? 

This programme is for teachers who have, or are aspiring to have, responsibilities for leading literacy across a school, year group, key stage or phase. 

How does the NPQLL work? 

This 15-month programme (12 months’ delivery and three months for assessment) consists of a series of modules based on the DfE’s NPQ frameworks. Each module cycle features:  

  • evidence-based online content to refresh and build knowledge, as well as exemplify what this looks like for your role and level of leadership 
  • a formative assessment task to support your learning 
  • a face-to-face seminar with a group of peers, facilitated by a serving school leader or Teach First Development Lead – you’ll analyse and reflect on the task and hear further examples of good practice 
  • the opportunity to record reflections and consolidate learning. 

This cycle repeats throughout the programme, with implementation a consideration in every module. Towards the end of the programme, you’ll also take a module focused specifically on effective implementation. This provides an opportunity to plan a strategic improvement, focused on your context and pupils. There will be ongoing support through a seminar group and discussion forum. 

During the Practical Implementation cycle, programme members will be required to put learning into practice and implement an improvement, or plan the implementation of an improvement, in their setting based on the NPQ programme they are working towards. The focus will be identified by the programme member and must be level appropriate.

This improvement should be a stretching professional development target within the programme member’s existing role. For aspiring specialist and leadership programme members, the school/employer should support them to implement an improvement at the aspiring level. The allocation of learning time is five hours so any implementation focus should be feasible within the timeframe.  

What will I learn? 

You’ll develop the knowledge, skills and expertise to lead effective approaches to developing literacy and supporting children’s reading and writing at all stages. This will include leading and developing others to improve children’s literacy. 

Our content is informed by the best and most recent evidence and developed with input from school leaders and subject matter experts. 

Our programmes have a practical focus. You’ll be supported to make small but important changes to your and others’ practice throughout the programme. This will conclude with the implementation module and practical implementation cycle of the programme. 

Find out more about the DfE’s NPQLL content framework: 

Download Framework (PDF)

What are the training commitments? 

The programme is designed to fit around your teaching and other school commitments. Over the course of the whole programme (spread over three terms), you’ll undertake approximately 55 hours of learning. This includes a combination of seminars, online learning modules, conferences and a practical implementation cycle. 

How will I be assessed? 

Assessment takes place within three months of you completing your NPQLL. Detailed dates will be shared with you before the start of the programme. 

The assessment process for all NPQs has been refreshed to reduce the workload burden on teachers while still providing an opportunity to apply their knowledge. To pass the programme, you’ll need to engage with at least 90% of the course and pass one summative assessment. 

Throughout the programme, you will participate in formative assessment tasks, so you can track your progress and understanding. This will also support you to demonstrate 90% engagement with the course.  

At the start of your training, we’ll also provide you with the dates of the Summative Assessment so you can plan for this with your school. This will take the form of a case study which is a minimum of 2,000 words in length and will cover content referred to in the relevant NPQ Content Framework. It will represent a likely situation to be faced by a teacher at the relevant NPQ qualification level or role and will allow you to demonstrate your understanding of the relevant NPQ Content Framework and offer you an opportunity to demonstrate that you can successfully apply this. 

You will have an eight-day window to provide a written response of a maximum of 1500 words for the case study (unless adjustments are required on an individual basis) in an ‘open book’ setting. You will receive the unseen case study question at the start of the eight-day window; and submit your response by midnight of the eighth day. 

Need more information? 

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for a different leadership programme? 

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Cost

We’ll have more information on potential DfE scholarship funding for the NPQs in late May. 

If you are not eligible for DfE funding, the cost is £840. 

Need more information? 

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for a different leadership programme? 

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Apply

Is my school eligible? 

While NPQs are open to all teachers and leaders in schools in England, we prioritise working with schools that teach a high number of pupils from low-income backgrounds. 

Our criteria are agreed with the Department for Education (DfE) and used to identify schools that will benefit most from working with us. We use the Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) and Pupil Premium (PP) information for each school to guide us. 

We work with schools that are ranked in the top 70% most deprived areas (based on IDACI) and where the proportion of pupils eligible for pupil premium is in the top 50% of all state-funded schools. 

If your school is affiliated to one of our NPQ delivery partners, your school is automatically eligible to take part. Contact the relevant delivery partner for further information. 

If you’re not sure whether your school is eligible, or if you think your school would benefit from our support but doesn’t match the standard eligibility criteria above, please email us at TFSLP@teachfirst.org.uk.

What are the programme start dates? 

Thank you for your interest in our NPQ programmes. We’re excited to be a lead provider alongside our delivery partners of the refreshed suite of NPQ programmes.  

Applications will open in early June for our programmes starting in October 2022. As a first step: 

  • If you are an individual, please register your interest by completing this short form. 
  • If you are a school, please complete this form.

Once applications open in early June, we will be in touch with you to complete our application form. 

If your school is part of one of our delivery partners, please find out more and register your interest directly with the relevant delivery partner.

How to apply 

Thank you for your interest in our NPQ programmes. We’re excited to be a lead provider alongside our delivery partners of the refreshed suite of NPQ programmes. 

Applications will open in early June for our programmes starting in October 2022. If you are interested in the NPQLL please contact TFSLP@teachfirst.org.uk to register your interest.

Once applications open in early June, we will be in touch with you to complete our application form.

If your school is part of one of our delivery partners, please find out more and register your interest directly with the relevant delivery partner.

Need more information? 

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for a different leadership programme? 

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Our leadership programmes

Great leaders drive successful schools. Our world-class training gives those eager to step up and build a fairer education system, the tools and networks to do it.

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