The scheme is expected to impact more than 558,000 pupils across thousands of schools across the country.

In addition to schoolbooks, the scheme will also provide students with free copybooks and workbooks.

Totalling an investment of €50 million, the scheme will come into effect from August of this year. The Department of Education will be issuing guidance for schools and any school with queries about the scheme can contact the Department directly.

Minister Foley said: “This ground-breaking, permanent measure will ease some of the financial burden facing families with the back-to-school costs.

“By providing our primary school children with free schoolbooks, we are enhancing their educational experience, not just in the classroom but reaching out into the family home.”

The Department of Education already provides a book grant of some €18.2 million to all recognised primary and post-primary schools within the Free Education Scheme.

Of the overall €18.2m schoolbook grant, €8.86m is allocated for primary schools in the 2022/23 school year.

Funding for the new free books scheme will be issued to schools in April.