The recruitment of hundreds of additional teachers and special needs assistants has been announced as part of the spending measures in Budget 2021.

Minister Michael McGrath said the total allocation to the Department of Education would amount to almost €9 billion.

The minister said the provision of over 300 mainstream teaching posts would result in a decrease in the pupil teacher ratio by 1 point to 25:1.

"This is in addition to over 265 posts I am providing to meet demographic pressures across primary and post-primary levels," the minister said in his speech.

He said €2 billion would be allocated towards special needs education.

"This will allow for the hiring of 990 additional SNAs and 403 additional teaching posts. This will mean that, at 18,000, we have more SNAs in schools than ever before and over 17,500 Special Education Teachers," he added.

In the third level sector, Minister McGrath said the €3.3 billion budget allocation in 2021 would provide for a range of measures including the provision of 5,000 additional places "to accommodate demographic changes and exceptional demand arising from the Calculated Grade model on this year's Leaving Certificate".

An increase in the SUSI fee grant for postgraduate study by €1,500 to €3,500 was also announced.

The minister also said he would adjust the income eligibility threshold for the grant.