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schoolbook scheme

Primary schools to receive €96 per pupil under free schoolbooks scheme from September

The cost will cover schoolbooks, workbooks, and copybooks for primary school pupils.

LAST UPDATE | 22 Mar 2023

PRIMARY SCHOOLS ARE set to receive €96 per pupil from September under the government’s free schoolbooks scheme.

More than 558,000 pupils enrolled in approximately 3,230 primary schools, including over 130 special schools, will benefit from the new scheme.  

It’s believed the figure will equate to €96 per pupil.

This figure is based on data gathered from a free school book pilot scheme which has operated in 102 DEIS primary schools since September 2020.

Minister for Education Norma Foley praised the scheme, stating today:

“This groundbreaking, permanent measure will ease some of the financial burden facing families with the back-to-school costs.”

“It ensures equity of opportunity in education, where all pupils are supported to fulfil their potential and reflects the importance this Government places on education.”

Funding for the scheme was included in Budget 2023 and the cost will cover schoolbooks, workbooks, and copybooks for primary school pupils.

Schoolbooks and workbooks will be on loan to the children and must be returned at the end of the schoolyear or if a child moves school.

A statement from the Department of Education explained that:

“Schools can purchase second-hand books under this scheme. This is a matter for the school management in each school when budgeting each year in order to achieve best value for money.”

If a school has purchased the necessary books but still has funding left over it “should be used to eliminate costs of related classroom resources such as pens and pencils”.

“In the unlikely event that a parent indicates that they do not wish to receive free schoolbooks under this scheme, the parent must be provided with the relevant class booklist(s) and they can make their own arrangements,” the department said.

Parents will not be able to avail of the funding if they decide to purchase books independently.

Speaking during the Budget announcement, Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said the scheme “is a reflection of the value we place on an education for all”.

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