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Dublin: 19 °C Sunday 31 May, 2020
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€1m pilot scheme for schoolbooks for disadvantaged primary school pupils announced

The fund has been set up on top of a grant which is already provided to all schools.

Minister Joe McHugh at St Malachy’s Senior School Finglas in Dublin to announce the new fund
Minister Joe McHugh at St Malachy’s Senior School Finglas in Dublin to announce the new fund
Image: Mark Stedman

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced that it will set up a pilot €1m fund to provide new school books to more than 100 disadvantaged schools around the country.

The pilot fund will aim to provide free school books to primary schools which are part of the DEIS programme in rural and urban areas.

The programme will see the book grant increase to €85 per pupil in participating schools, and it is expected that more than 15,000 children will benefit from its creation.

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh said the new fund was about further reducing costs and easing financial burdens on families, as well as to help improve children’s education.

“The cost of school books is recognised as a significant element of back to school costs and in line with the overall aim of DEIS, [the fund will] ensure all learners have equal opportunity to fulfil their potential,” he added.

The 102 schools selected as part of the scheme were chosen based on their levels of concentrated disadvantage, and represent both urban and rural areas.

The pilot fund has been set up on top of a book grant which is already provided to all schools.

The Department of Education and Skills provides this grant, worth almost €17 million, to recognised primary and post-primary schools within the Free Education Scheme.

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