The DEIS programme, set up to tackle educational disadvantage, is to be expanded by an additional 310 schools.

Announcing the move today, Minister for Education Norma Foley said it is the largest-ever single investment in the scheme and will mean, in total, 1,194 schools across the country and over 240,000 students will now be part of the programme.

It means those schools can now claim additional benefits and resources including extra guidance officers, additional grants as well as enhanced book grant funding.

Ms Foley said the investment, costing €32 million, will provide for around 160 additional primary teaching posts.