Shares in Pearson were up on the FTSE 100 in morning trading after the publishing group, which owns the Financial Times, said it would be buying Schoolnet for $230 million.

Schoolnet is a New York based education technology company that aims to improve the effectiveness of teachers. The company currently serves five million "pre K-12" students in the U.S. through partnerships with districts and states and operates in a third of the U.S.'s big cities.

Pearson said the acquisition of the company is likely to be "broadly neutral to earnings per share in 2011", but will enhance adjusted earnings per share in 2012.

The current Chief Executive of Schoolnet, Jonathan D. Harber, will remain in his current position and will also become a senior executive at Pearson.

Mr Harber said, "K-12 schools have begun a revolutionary transformation towards evidence-driven instruction to improve student achievement. Personalized learning for students and educators is key to advancing student progress and we are pleased to be joining the Pearson family in this pursuit."

K-12 schools cover both primary and secondary school students.

Marjorie Scardino, Chief Executive of Pearson, commented, "Being able to offer a connective digital spine for learning has been Pearson's goal for years. Schoolnet has shared our passion, and together we can make that spine more flexible and powerful for schools, teachers and students."

The deal is subject to a Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust review.

By 08:55 shares in Pearson were up 0.80 per cent on the FTSE 100 to 1,140.00 pence per share.