I propose to take Questions Nos. 148 and 162 together.
As the Deputy may be aware I launched new "Guidelines for Developing Textbook Rental Schemes in Schools" on the 28th January last. These Guidelines provide practical advice to primary and post-primary schools on how rental schemes can be established and operated. The aim of the Guidelines is to help as many schools as possible to start such book rental programmes. The publication of these Guidelines follows a survey of schools by the Department, and which I published in May 2012. This had a 99% response rate at primary level, and showed that 76% of primary schools operate a book rental scheme. At second level, the response rate was lower, at 44%. Of those which did respond, 88% of those in the VEC sector and 73% of those in the Community & Comprehensive sector operated a book rental scheme. I believe these results show that we have a good foundation to build on across the country. I hope that schools that are not yet operating book rental schemes will be encouraged to use the Guidelines to introduce them. If they do, it will result in substantial savings for parents. Schools which already have rental schemes can save parents up to 80% of the cost of buying new books. The Department does not presently have the information requested by the Deputy. However, the Department will continue to monitor the number of schools operating book rental schemes. The information requested by the Deputy will be gathered as part of the annual enrolment data returns from primary and post-primary schools and will be available once it has been collated.