A new study has confirmed the popular notion that good teachers can improve children's educational attainment.
The report, which was published in the Teachers College Record journal, analysed the reading and maths scores of several thousand children in nursery and up to year three, and found that teachers in all years had substantial effects on the achievement of their pupils over time.
The report's author, Michigan State University education scholar Spyros Konstantopoulos, pointed out that good teachers seem to be as important to overall pupil academic success as small class sizes.
"Of course we should have the best teachers we can in all grades but if you have to prioritise resources, perhaps the earlier school years make the most sense because this is where students receive most of the basic skills for reading and maths," Mr Konstantopoulos commented.
He also recommended that schools should implement training and development courses in order to improve the effectiveness of their teaching staff.
Education journalist Janet Murray recently highlighted the importance of small class sizes in improving children's educational performance.