Free schoolbook scheme announced for primary schools

The scheme will cover all books, in addition to work and copybooks
Free schoolbook scheme announced for primary schools

Muireann Duffy

A free schoolbook scheme has been unveiled by Minister for Education Norma Foley, covering all recognised primary schools, including special schools.

The scheme aims to reduce the costs associated with sending a child to school and will cover all books, workbooks and copybooks.

The Department of Education added that, where funds allow, some related classroom resources may also be provided under the scheme, such as writing and drawing equipment, dictionaries and maths sets.

"By providing our primary schools children with free school books, we are enhancing their educational experience, not just in the classroom but reaching out into the family home," Ms Foley said.

"It ensures equity of opportunity in education, where all pupils are supported to fulfil their potential."

The Minister said the scheme will benefit over 558,000 pupils, at a rate of €96 per student. The payment for the 2023/2024 academic year will be received by schools next month, with the amount based on validated enrolment figures from September 2022.

The department added that the books will be loaned to the students, and remain the property of the schools, so should be returned after one year.

The scheme's guidance also states that no deposit for the books can be taken in order for students to participate, and parents/guardians cannot be charged to replace damaged or lost books.

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