Premium Specialist Teacher Programme (Level 5 Diploma)

Level 5 Diploma in Teaching Learners with Dyslexia, Specific Learning Differences and Barriers to Literacy.

*You don’t have to be a teacher to become a Specialist Teacher.

This course is recognised by the BDA, PATOSS, The Dyslexia Guild and ADSHE.

About this course

Liz and Julia, Directors, designed this course with the mission to train and develop Specialist Practitioners to the highest standard possible, as they believe all learners deserve to receive the highest standard of support. Drawing on their experience as founding headteachers of a specialist school for learners with Dyslexia, they realised the importance of providing Specialist Practitioners not just with a qualification, but with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to practically apply their qualification in a broad range of settings.

In light of their own professional careers, including as headteachers and as practitioners supporting people in the workplace, they made a conscious decision to deliver a practical, rather than essay driven course. Their experience has taught them that practitioners who are confident with the practical aspects of supporting learners are the most impactful assets in any setting.

About Dyslexia Matters

Communication and community are the key to success. That is why we enrol candidates within small cohorts, who will learn together and support each other throughout their course, forming their own community.

These communities continue beyond the completion of the course, supported by Dyslexia Matters. As each member of the cohort applies their new skills, they can call on fellow experts from the network they have formed, to ask for support or advice, discuss progress or celebrate breakthroughs. Nothing is quite as good as talking to someone who truly understands and has the same level of expertise!


The total cost of this Level 5 course is: £4,550 (Inc. VAT)

Costing explained

The course fees cover the cost of an assessor who will guide and mark all of your work and be a point of contact throughout the whole time you study with us. As well as this, they also cover the cost of all of your registration fees throughout your course.


Unfortunately, there are not any central funding options available at the moment. We are regularly checking for updates on funding opportunities. Local charities and/or churches are worth exploring for funding opportunities in their particular area. We have had several candidates obtain funding this way. Dorset Community Foundation is an example of a localised charity offering support ( We have had several candidates obtain funding this way.

Several of our candidates have been fully funded or in part by their school or educational setting. It is worth a conversation with your school or educational setting to discuss potential opportunities that are mutually beneficial.

MOD Funding

This Level 5 course is registered ELCAS (Enhanced Learning Credits Administration Services). So anyone applying from the MOD has the opportunity to apply for funding this way. For more information please visit:


All of our courses are VAT deductible, so if a school or charity is paying for the course, the VAT (20%) can be offset.


Who is it for?

You don’t have to be a teacher to become a specialist teacher. Anyone with a Level 3 qualification or higher in any subject is eligible for this course. The reason we set a requirement to have a level 3 qualification or higher is due to the education demands of the course – to find out more about the demands of the course, here is a link to Studying at Level 5′ (Click Here)

Becoming eligible

If you don’t currently hold a Level 3 qualification or above, we offer a Level 3 course(Click here). Not only will this make you eligible for this Level 5 course, it will also give you a foundation of knowledge, giving you an excellent platform to succeed on this course.


We are fortunate enough to have trained over 500 Specialist Teachers. However, not all of those were from a teaching background to start with. Here are a few examples of their backgrounds prior to becoming a specialist teacher with us:

    • Teacher assistants
    • Speech and Language Therapists
    • Occupational Therapists
    • Tutors
    • SENDCOs 
    • A parent who would like to make a difference
    • Anyone looking for a new career!

There is a requirement to hold a valid DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service). However this is not an immediate requirement, you will have time to apply for this once you start the course. For more information on this please visit:(


For this Level 5 Diploma, there is a requirement to have access to two learners. You will be teaching each learner for 10 hours, for a maximum of 1 hour a week. These two learners don’t necessarily need to be taught within a school or other educational setting. The learners typically are underperforming in literacy and/or numeracy, but do not have to have a diagnosis of dyslexia.

Time commitment

This course requires a time commitment of approximately one to two days a week outside of normal work. We appreciate this is a very big time commitment, however, we believe that to properly embed your knowledge, and to continue to progress, this amount of time each week is necessary.


As this course is taught remotely – there is a requirement to have access to a computer to be able to complete the course, as well as communicate with your assessor. It will help you to have a basic understanding of using computers. For example – organising files and documents that you have completed in order to send them to your assessor either via email or via a USB (memory) stick.


The length of the Level 5 Diploma is 12 months, however, Dyslexia Matters offers up to 14 1/2  months in total, if additional support is required.

On completion of your course, you will be a specialist teacher. This means you can start teaching straight away! Course certificates can take up to 4 months after your course end date to arrive from the awarding body.

We understand that there are often unforeseen circumstances that could potentially hinder the completion of the course. We endeavour to be as flexible as possible in any situation that arises.


The Level 5 Diploma is remote. 

Online Learning Platform

We provide an online learning platform for you, which you have access to throughout your course. The content includes videos and quizzes, helping you to embed your knowledge.

We also provide dedicated IT support if required. 

    • Weekly meetings are held via Zoom during the teaching practice, ensuring candidates have an in-depth understanding and any questions are answered.
    • Regular contact is maintained through-out this course. Candidates send work via email directly to assessors
Why do we do it remotely?
    • We believe teaching remotely provides people nationally and internationally an equal opportunity to gain our qualification; giving as many learners as possible the opportunity to receive the support they require.
    • Candidates learn at different paces.
    • Candidates are available at different times.
    • Enables us to adapt and ensure the course content is 100% accurate and delivered in the best way possible.


Role of assessor

Candidates are assigned an assessor for the duration of their course. Regular communication is maintained between assessor and candidate. Assignments are sent to and from the candidate via email. The Assessor provides feedback, guidance and where relevant signposting to develop the candidate’s skills further.

Our standards

We regularly conduct internal quality assurance exercises alongside regular external quality assurance inspections. This ensures we maintain our high standards.


This course is delivered by co-authors of the course. It has been designed in a way that is realistic and practical – preparing you for real-life as a specialist teacher. The course is delivered by people who have previous experience of:

    • Working in mainstream settings
    • Founding and running a specialist school
    • Working as teachers
    • Working as headteachers in both mainstream and specialist settings
    • Supporting and training within the Public sector.
    • Working as governors.
Course progression

We start this course at a level that is accessible to everyone, regardless of their previous experience. By the end of the course, candidates will have the skills to assess, plan and execute a programme of study for learners of all ages.

Marking process

The interaction with your assessor is an ongoing dialogue and discussion. The assessor’s remit is to help candidates develop into reflective practitioners. The assessor provides feedback and comments to candidates on all activities. As it is an independent study course assessors ask questions and prompt candidates to find solutions.


As the course is delivered remotely, there is, therefore, a requirement to have access to a computer. We do provide IT Support if required.


Cohorts are limited to small numbers, enabling candidates to become an active member of a network of specialist teachers for the future.

Have a question?

Please fill out the contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

    What’s included?

    The assessor is a Specialist Teacher, who will work closely with each candidate on their assignments, providing feedback and guidance to help each candidate achieve the requirements of the course. Candidates share their assignments with their assessor and rather than grading the work or marking it just as a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’, they will actively engage each candidate with informative feedback. This formative feedback includes questions and advice that will direct independent learning to optimise the development of the skills required to complete the course criteria. Therefore this assessor will guide and mark all of the assignments and be a point of contact throughout the whole time the candidate studies with us.

    In addition, all candidates have the support of a second specialist tutor,  who meets remotely, via Zoom for one hour a week in term time, during the teaching practice. This second specialist tutor provides guidance as candidates embrace their new skills, and vocabulary, helping them to embed their growing knowledge and expertise. Each week this second specialist teacher will guide the independent learning tasks so that the candidates have completed the appropriate tasks and activities before the weekly Zoom session. During the session, the second specialist teacher will demonstrate tasks, review and revisit the more challenging skills and provide opportunities for colleagues to work together in small groups of 2-4 candidates to practice their developing professional dialogue and skill set.  These Zoom sessions ensure that candidates are able to consolidate what they have learnt, and provides them with the opportunity to answers to any questions they may have as your progress through the course.

    You will be provided with access to our online learning platform with lectures and activities that can be accessed as and when you require.

    The cost of the course covers the full cost of registration fees to awarding bodies through-out the course

    • Access to career opportunities that are brought to Dyslexia Matters’ attention
    • Remain a  part of the Dyslexia Matters family, accessing regular networking sessions and our annual Conference.

    Candidates source their own reading materials, via libraries, the internet or book retailers. Only a small and limited number of the assignments may need to be printed and posted to an assessor if requested. All the materials and resources can be stored and accessed electronically.  Therefore there are no additional or unforeseen costs once enrolled on this course.