The introduction of larger classrooms with smaller class sizes is being recommended for primary schools.
A study carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute says such a move would allow for more active learning methods and for more individual attention to pupils.
The ESRI is also calling on the Government to maintain investment in the education sector - which it says is vital.
Many old national school buildings across the country are no longer fit for purpose and cramped.
The ESRI study says the design of a school plays a huge role in the education of a child - a point it says needs to be taken into consideration in the future.
The review also says there is insufficient supplies of computer facilities and modern technology - while many outdoor play areas are inappropriate.
The think tank is raising concerns that necessary improvements to schools will not be made if spending is cut as part of the four-year budgetary plan.