Written Answers. - School Book Loan Scheme.

Gerry O'Sullivan

Question:

93 Mr. G. O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education, in view of the serious hardship being experienced by many parents in supplying school text books, if she will make facilities available to schools to operate book-loan schemes; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

My Department operates a scheme of aid towards the cost of schoolbooks for necessitous pupils. The scheme is extremely flexible in its operation. One of the options open to principal teachers is a book loan system, if they feel that to be the most suitable arrangement to assist pupils in circumstances of financial hardship.

For primary schools I increased the grant in 1989 by 17 per cent and in 1990 by 17 per cent.

For the post-primary scheme the grant in 1989 was increased by 20 per cent and in 1990 by 23 per cent.