Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (500)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Question:

500. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills the estimated full year cost of increasing the funding of the school books scheme by percentage values (details supplied) in tabular form. [32840/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The Department provides a book grant to all recognised primary and post primary schools within the Free Education Scheme in order to provide assistance for books including Book Rental Schemes. Under this scheme, the Department provided funding of €16.9 million in 2019 to all of these schools. 

It is a matter for the Board of Management of each individual school to decide on its own policy in relation to the use of this funding in the school but they are expected to adopt a cost-conscious approach to the selection of books for use in their classes. The current arrangement relies on the local knowledge of the school in order to ensure a fair allocation of funds to those most in need.  The arrangements in relation to this scheme are set out in Circular 0046/2013 which is published on the Department's website at http://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0046_2013.pdf.

Each 1% increase in the book grant for primary and post-primary schools would cost approximately €170,000.  The following table sets out the estimated cost of increasing the book grant by 10%, 20%, 30%, 40% and 50%.

% increase

Cost of increase

10%

€1.7m

20%

€3.4m

30%

€5.1m

40%

€6.8m

50%

€8.5m