This study explores the important relationship between policy variables that represent a school’s human resources and product variables in the form of student performance in Botswana’s schools. A focus of particular interest is if the teaching environment is related to student success and whether it can promote equity in learning between students from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Data for the study are drawn from a rich survey of students, teachers and schools in Southern and Eastern Africa. There is modest evidence to suggest that students attending well resourced schools are likely to perform better, irrespective of their background. The results points to a clear association between teacher content preparation and student achievement. Regular assessment is associated with better performance and greater social equity between students within the same school. Policy implications related to teacher preparation programmes in Botswana are discussed.