This paper presents findings from a qualitative study that investigated school participants' perceptions of the benefits, challenges and supportive factors related to their involvement in a long-term school/university professional experience partnership. Data were collected through interviews with coordinators and a written survey completed by mentor teachers from 4 schools. The findings indicate that participants perceived the program to have a number of benefits for both staff and school students and that participation was supported by effective communication, flexible funding arrangements, local autonomy to interpret and adapt the program and the continuity arising from the long-term nature of the partnership. The benefits and supportive factors appear to have compensated for challenges such as organisational demands, negotiating university expectations and stresses on workload, time, space and resources. The discussion focuses on features that appear to have contributed to the sustainability of the partnership over many years.