In the 1990s, Ireland saw immigration of a scale and speed unprecedented in comparative context. Immigration posed challenges for schools with little prior experience of dealing with cultural diversity. This is the first national study of school provision for newcomer (immigrant) students. It draws on a survey of 1,200 primary and second-level schools as well as detailed case-studies of twelve schools.
Despite the recession, diversity is likely to remain a feature of Irish society. In the context of scare resources, it is important to avoid a trade-off between the needs of newcomer and Irish students. This study indicates that promoting a positive school climate and teaching to the range of abilities in the class will benefit both newcomer and Irish students.