Roll out of book rental scheme fund to all primary schools welcome
Issued : Tuesday 22 April, 2014
Labour councillor, Martin Farren, has welcomed the decision of his party colleague, Minister Ruairi Quinn, to extend the book rental scheme fund to include all primary schools from next year.
Originally the €15 million fund was targeted specifically at those primary schools that did not operate any book rental scheme. 531 schools were invited to apply for the funding.
“When I first announced this scheme which targeted only primary schools who were not operating a Book Rental Scheme, many of the other schools voiced their concern at being left out, despite the hard work of many parents and teachers to establish such schemes”, said Minister Quinn.
“I indicated that after the initial first round of funding was allocated that we could examine the scheme again and I am delighted that we will be able to provide an extra boost to these other schools which should allow them to expand or replace some books on their own schemes.”
“Every primary school has now been given the opportunity to benefit from the School Book Rental Scheme funding we secured through the proceeds of the sale of the national Lottery.”
“I believe that all parents should have access to a school book rental scheme enabling them to significantly reduce the costs of sending a child to school,” said the Minister.
According to Councillor Farren there should be about €8.3 million remaining in the fund to be distributed in 2015 and 2016 to primary schools that currently operate school book rental schemes in order to allow them to supplement their existing schemes.
This will be in addition to the book grant which is already paid to all recognised primary schools and all post-primary schools within the Free Education Scheme. This is paid in June each year for the following school year. For both 2012 and 2013, €15 million was ring-fenced for this programme.
The local Labour councillor advised parents to make sure that the book rental schemes in their children’s schools are set up in accordance with best practice contained in the “Guidelines for Developing Textbook Rental Schemes in Schools” for a minimum of 5 years so as to avail of the maximum funding from the scheme. Details are available on www.education.ie.