Following a decade of shift towards more school-led or school-centred initial teacher training it is time to assess the impact of this change on the roles of mentors and tutors in university based initial teacher education (ITE) partnerships. This paper therefore elicited the perceptions of school-based mentors’ contributions to the education of training teachers when working with a higher education institution (HEI) ITE partnership. During 2018/19, school-based secondary history mentors working with three university providers offering Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and School Direct (SD) with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) qualifications, were asked how they perceived the expertise brought to the role of teacher-educator when working in partnership with a university subject-tutor. Many school-based mentors involved in the study worked with a variety of training providers and routes, and university subject-tutors and school-based mentors were understood to have purposeful roles to play, bringing distinct and complementary expertise to a collaborative ITE partnership. The study identifies advantages in HEI ITE partnerships that could be lost if an understanding of the distinct contributions of the school-based mentor and university subject-tutor are not recognised. It offers suggestions as to how these advantages might be maximised to strengthen the quality of subject-specific mentoring in these partnership contexts.