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Quinn admits schools who operate book rental schemes won't benefit from new funding

“If I get extra money of course they will but I’ve concentrated so that every child going to primary school can access a book rental scheme,” the Minister said today.

Ruairí Quinn
Ruairí Quinn
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

EDUCATION MINISTER RUAIRÍ Quinn has admitted that primary schools who already operate book rental schemes will not benefit from extra funding he has been given to aid schools that don’t have any.

The Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO) has called on Quinn to rethink proposals to allocate €15 million to an initiative for the fifth of primary schools who don’t have schemes to allow them to operate one.

Presently around 80 per cent of the country’s 3,200 primary schools have some form of a book rental scheme with State funding amounting to around €11 per child.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Quinn defended the initiative being launched today saying he is “closing the gap so that every primary school will have a book rental scheme”.

“I’ve had to in a way recognise fully the leadership that was shown in many in a schools who’ve gone ahead with a book rental scheme, but they’re not benefitting from this particular €15 million,” he admitted.

“If I get extra money of course they will but I’ve concentrated so that every child going to primary school can access a book rental scheme.”

He said that the €15 million he has been allocated from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is “a lot in the context of where we are” and insisted that schools who already have schemes will still get access to the book grant.

“I am responding to the cry from parents about the cost of sending children to school in terms of uniforms which we’re addressing later this year, but also in relation to the cost of books,” he said.

Read: This is the school uniform questionnaire parents are being sent

Read: Parents to be asked if they want their children to wear school uniforms

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

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Hugh O'Connell

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