Increasingly multinational ‐ and hence multicultural ‐ societies have an impact on education and student achievement. Data from PISA 2003 and 2006 indicate that the educational challenges posed by family background, socio‐economic context, and
migration status are not only strongly linked to student outcomes, they are the main determinants of student performance over and above the influence of the school.* School education must therefore seek to overcome socio‐economic inequalities and, at the same
time, utilise the benefits that diversity brings to schools and classrooms. A key recommendation from the PISA studies was that schools should do better in building on the emotive capital of immigrant students as a driving source for enhancing their learning. One way in
which they can do this is to use the strength and flexibility of their teachers ‐ but of course for this to be effective teachers must receive appropriate support and training.