The aim of the Department for Education’s recent market review of England’s initial teacher training (ITT) was ostensibly to enable the provision of consistently highquality training in line with the ITT core content framework (CCF). Its intention may possibly have been welcomed had it built on the judgments from Ofsted at the time, which concluded that every single teacher education partnership was already ‘good’ or better. However, this was not meant to be. The outcomes from the review led to a chorus of concerns voiced across the sector. A move to a single, potentially homogenous national approach to the ITT curriculum, its delivery and its assessment was considered detrimental and central dangers were cited, such as the loss of autonomy and the investment partner schools have in ITT. Nevertheless, these concerns fell on deaf ears, with all ITT providers being required to undergo formal reaccreditation despite their long track records of teacher training success. In this paper, we consider the prescriptive, homogenous nature of the ITT CCF to which providers must demonstrate fidelity in order to secure accreditation. We offer the University of Manchester’s Secondary Postgraduate Certificate of Education with Qualified Teacher Status programme (PGCE with QTS) as a case study. The paper illustrates the capacity of an academic and professional teacher training programme to extend beyond providing the prescribed minimum entitlement and to develop trainee teachers as research informed, critically reflective practitioners.