The focus of this study is the practice of mentoring as perceived by key participants, and the backdrop is the changing training context. Particularly, this research aims to understand mentoring of student teachers as a practice-based learning process situated within the school as a workplace, and for the purposes of sustaining the working practices and staffing of that workplace. Experiences of mentoring in this specific case study of initial teacher education vary but there are common constraints and affordances. This research suggests that the wider value placed on mentoring within the workplace-orientated context of initial teacher education matters. Furthermore, the socio-cultural context within which mentoring occurs also has a significant impact, and indeed the extent to which the mentors are afforded the necessary time and mentor education to fulfil their role.