Ireland's five island post-primary schools are to receive additional resources from September including extra funding and additional teaching hours.

The schools, which are regarded as critical to the survival of the island populations, are to get extra funding and additional teaching hours.

One school, Coláiste Naomh Eoin on Inis Meáin, is to be granted independent stand-alone status. 

It currently operates as part of another school, Coláiste Cholmcille in Indreabhán, and has argued that it needs its own independent management structure.

The change will mean it will now have its own full principal and deputy principal, and its own board of management. 

Meanwhile, each of the island schools will get an extra €15,000 in funding annually - to cover additional operating costs, and their teacher allocation is to be raised from one extra teacher per school to the equivalent of one-and-a-half. 

However the new measures fall short of what was recommended by the Oireachtas Committee on Education in a report it published last February.

As well as recommending increased general funding, that report also called for the reinstatement of the special island teacher's allowance, which was abolished in 2012.

The report said the cutting of this allowance meant the State no longer recognised the additional challenges and costs associated with working on an island.

It said the abolition had made it harder for schools to find and retain suitably qualified teachers.

The report also called for the drafting and implementation of a national policy to govern the island schools. 

Minister for Education Richard Bruton said the measures announced today were about meeting the unique circumstances of these schools.

Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands Joe McHugh, said the new measures would help sustain and grow the Irish language among the next generation.

There are five post-primary schools on Gaeltacht islands in counties Galway and Donegal and are managed by local Education and Training boards.

The schools - on Inis Mór, Inis Meáin, Inis Oirr, Árainn Mhór and Toraigh - cater for almost 230 students between them. 

In a statement announcing the new supports, the Department of Education said each Education and Training Board was now required to adopt a coordinated and strategic approach in the management and allocation of the additional resources. 

The Oireachtas committee report published last February said the schools played a crucial role in sustaining island communities, but it found that the schools, because of their island settings, faced unique challenges and needed special supports to ensure their viability. 

That report also recommended that a special scholarship programme be extended to double the number of recipients.

The programme, which is administered by Galway/Roscommon Education and Training Board, currently enables 30 students annually from elsewhere in Ireland to live on one of the islands and attend school there. 

Today's announcement does not contain any additional supports for the 12 island primary schools.