The rules will apply to around 200 schools.

Catholic symbols and graduation masses are to be phased out from State secondary schools.

The move is to create a more balanced and multi-denominational ethos, according to the Irish Times.

Visits from diocesan inspectors are also to be stopped, and the option of opting out for religious events will instead be managed on an opt in basis.

The new rules will apply to around 200 schools.