The paper examines the school-based element of initial teacher education (ITE) and the ways in which it contributes to the professional learning of student teachers in Finland (University of Helsinki) and Northern Ireland (University of Ulster). In particular it seeks to assess the potential of Training Schools for Northern Ireland. Universities in Finland that provide teacher education have at least one designated training school in which all student teachers have the opportunity to undertake a practicum. The Finnish model was selected for comparison because of the country’s consistently excellent results in the OECD’s Programmes for International Student Assessment which is undoubtedly due, in part, to the quality of the teachers. Teaching/training schools have featured prominently in recent reviews of teacher education in England and Scotland and, while not specifically mentioned in the Northern Ireland (NI) review document, the overall concept could enrich the school-based element of ITE in NI, using existing collaborative networks of schools.