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Book schemes could save families up to 80 per cent, says Quinn

Quinn also announced that €15 million would be ring-fenced for grants to assist struggling families to purchases school books this year.

Image: Photocall Ireland

THE MINISTER FOR Education Ruairí Quinn has said that book rental schemes operated by schools could reduce costs incurred by families by up to 80 per cent.

A report by the Department of Education showed that three-quarters of primary schools currently operate a book rental system for students, but that secondary schools have displayed a lower involvement in such schemes.

The Department asked 3,300 primary and special schools nationwide if they operated a textbook rental or loan scheme; 99 per cent of schools answered the question and more than three quarters said that they did. However, just 44 per cent of the 723 post-primary schools asked the question responded; of those who did, 88 per cent of those in the VEC sector and 73 per cent of those in the Community & Comprehensive sector operated a book rental scheme.

Quinn also announced that the level of funding for school books would be maintained for the forthcoming academic year, with €15 million ring-fenced to assist families struggling with costs.

“I am very pleased to see the high level of book rental schemes in operation at primary school level and want to encourage this practice across all schools in our education landscape,” said Quinn.

“I am publishing draft “Guidelines on Developing School Textbook Rental Schemes” today in order to share best practice on these schemes with all schools in primary and post primary.”

Read: End of heavy schoolbags? Students welcome eBooks to classrooms

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