Teaching Academies of Professional Practice (TAPP) is an initiative of the Victorian State Government aimed at improving initial teacher education through strong partnerships between schools and universities. This presentation will explore the benefits and challenges of delivering initial teacher education through ‘a site-based training model’ from the perspective of pre-service teachers, supervising teachers, principals and teacher educators. It reports on the findings of research into the Australian Catholic University North West TAPP, a cluster partnership involving the university, 5 secondary schools and 3 primary schools. Drawing on multiple sources of data, including surveys, interviews and professional learning conversations the researchers investigated the impact of the TAPP initiative on the preparedness of pre-service teachers. The research also examined the role of formal mentoring programs run in partnership with schools in the preparedness of pre-service teachers. A further layer of analysis was an exploration of how pre-service teacher preparation within a partnership is influenced by the governance structures of Catholic systemic schools.