Palmerston as a National Teaching School

What is Palmerston School Direct?

Palmerston School Direct has a proven track record of developing inspiring, child focussed, well prepared teachers through a combination of established, multidisciplinary, evidence based - SEND specific training days and placements in a broad range of special and mainstream schools. There is 100% pass rate and excellent rates of employment, predominantly in Special Schools. In partnership with DfE APPLY, you will be personally matched with a ‘home-school’ and a mentor for each placement as well as a Specialist Palmerston School Direct and University Mentor. Our partner, DfE APPLY will provide subject knowledge and will also provide mentor support for the duration of the course.

You will undertake an alternative special school placement, as well as a primary placement after preparation training, to ensure a broad range of experience. Training takes place over one academic year from September to July, including a minimum of 25 days SEN specific training, as well as core training from DfE APPLY. On successful completion you will awarded a PGCE, with and additional 60 Master credits from DfE APPLY and be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status. You will graduate with not only a sense of what is expected in the classroom, but the skills to create positive outcomes in any classroom.

This course is designed for and most suited to those who are committed to working in a special school setting or predominantly with pupils with SEND.



MH- “This course has been life changing. Over the past year, I have been offered bespoke training in special needs and mainstream teaching, and this, alongside the careful guidance of experienced mentors, has given me the tools necessary to develop my own individual teaching style. I have felt my confidence and self-belief soar, but always felt reassured of the fact I had a support network of experienced teachers and fellow students to turn to if ever I needed help. I am now at the end of my training looking forward to starting my NQT year in a few months, fully confident in my ability thanks to this course.”

JP – “School Direct teacher training route through Palmerston School offer training in Special Educational Needs that is of an exceptionally high standard. All training SEN training has been useful and beneficial for my professional development. As the group of trainee teachers is small, everyone gets to know each other really well, tutors and trainees included, and it is a very supportive environment to train in. Palmerston mentors are extremely supportive and always make themselves available to help when they can. Review meetings were always beneficial, highlighting strengths and areas to develop as a trainee teacher.”

LG – “The year seems to have flown by in less than the blink of an eye. Although this year has been jam packed with work, there is an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment. Schools Direct has given me all the tools, assistance and support needed in order to become an outstanding teacher. Amongst gaining the tools needed you will also gain friends that will embrace you in your happy times and help you through your struggles.”

AW – “As an employer, I look for someone who has relevant experience, skills, and confidence of working with pupils with SEND. The School Direct trainees have all of this by the end of their training, which means their NQT year can be spent developing further specialist skills relevant to their school designation. On interview, the trainees are able to draw on their experiences when answering the questions and can give excellent examples of how they managed to deal with a variety of situations. This is a direct result of the training and time spent in a variety of placements during their ITT year. I have observed the trainees in our school growing in confidence and ability and would not hesitate to employ a School Direct trainee again.”



Guidance criteria


Applicants must have: 2:2 Degree or higher, Maths, English and Science( A-C) GCSE, significant experience with people with SEND (in any capacity) and pass the professional skills tests.

Palmerston has an established background in ITT research and has refined skills is selecting candidates with the right blend of skills and motivation and experience. We are looking for committed candidates as this is a challenging course, which prepares trainees to teach in both Mainstream and Special School.

Suitable candidates will; have the desire to make a difference, be prepared to train for personalised learning and meeting individual needs, be resilient, child focussed, believe in the ability of all children to make progress and have a genuine passion for working with pupils with SEND, which can be demonstrated by prior experience.

Selection process

Candidates will be invited to spend half a day in a special school, after which both the teacher and candidates’ written reflection will be taken into account, this will be followed by a formal interview. We look forward to meeting you and invite you to contact school for an informal chat.


How to contact us

We welcome candidates to come to Palmerston School. 

To talk to us you can call on: 


0151 280 4579 – ask for Sophie Caines

Email –


Palmerston School

Minehead Road



L17 6AU

Palmerston operates as a Teaching School under the name of P.I.A. Support (Palmerston Inclusive Alliance).

Our Strategic Partners include: St Fransis’s Xavier College, Our Lady’s Bishop Eton Catholic Primary School, St Paschal Baylon Catholic Primary School, Merseyside SLD Schools regional group, Edge Hill University and Liverpool Local Education Authority. We work predominantly, but not exclusively, with the G10 learning network in the Belle Vale and Woolton areas of the City and the Merseyside SLD schools group.

As a teaching school we work on each of the National College’s identified “Big 6”: ITT, professional and leadership development, developing leadership potential, school to school support, brokering of SLEs and research and development.

Our particular strengths lie in: SEN, communication, behaviour support, development of teaching assistants, vulnerable children including LAC and literacy at all levels and ages.

We work closely with other networks and organisations and in addition to direct work we will also signpost schools to possible sources of support e.g. from the local authority, other Teaching Schools or sources of expertise. Our overriding aim is to improve education for all pupils and to support the sharing of expertise across mainstream and special schools.