THE COST OF school books will be lowered for students in schools that run book rental schemes.
Minister for Education and Skills Ruairi Quinn TD said today he welcomes the commitment by the main educational publishers to give “substantial discounts” to schools that run such book rental schemes.
The Minister said:
My main objective in proposing these measures is to ensure that costs to students and their families are kept to a minimum and I believe that the steps achieved to-date will contribute substantially to achieving this objective.
I will continue to prioritise this issue over the coming months.
He met with representatives of the publishers for the second time yesterday to discuss proposals to reduce the cost of school books.
The decision was made during this meeting.
Mr Quinn had proposed that schools which purchase textbooks in bulk should be given a significant discount.
The majority of publishers confirmed yesterday that schools who purchase in bulk for book rental schemes will benefit from discounts between 12 per cent and 17.5. per cent.
Eight publishers have also signed up to a voluntary Code of Practice, which means there will be no revisions to existing text books for four years unless there are changes required because of curriculum and / or examinations changes.
It was agreed that old editions of these text books will be kept in print for two years (unless annual sales fall below 500 copies).
What this means is that, in future, a new edition of a textbook will be available for a minimum of six years.
Plus, revisions to textbooks will be available online, said the publishers.
Department officials will now contact all primary and second level schools to determine which schools operate book rental schemes.
The National Parents Councils have provided the Department of Education with information about examples of best practice of book rental schemes in operation in order to encourage more schools to introduce such schemes.