Reducing class sizes can make a significant difference to how well children perform, it has been suggested.
Education journalist Janet Murray noted that although smaller classes "can't change everything", reducing numbers can have a major impact.
She claimed there are several reasons why there are variations in education levels across the UK.
"There are a variety of factors. The first is to do with the quality of education in certain areas, where some are more affluent than others, which obviously has an impact on how people do in education," Ms Murray commented.
"The main thing is to have a look at education, and to look at what kind of quality of education people are getting. I also think at the same time it is easy to blame schools for the fact that kids aren't doing well in education, but there are so many factors that determine whether young people are doing well."
She suggested that if the gap in educational attainment is to be bridged then the government needs to give more consideration to the social factors that can prevent children from reaching their potential in the classroom.
Ms Murray noted that teachers can "only work with what comes through the door in the morning".
If pupils are having difficulties at home then they can suffer setbacks and it can be difficult for schools to resolve some of these issues, she added.
A recent study by the University and College Union revealed there are major disparities in educational achievement.
It was found that in some areas more than a third of adults have no qualifications.
The study revealed that people living in Newcastle-upon-Tyne Central are almost twice as likely to have no qualifications as people in neighbouring Newcastle-upon-Tyne North.
Posted by Katy Kearns