Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (631, 632)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

631. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the number of primary and secondary schools that do not operate a book rental scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34479/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

632. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the average book rental payment by parents at primary and second-level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34480/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 631 and 632 together.

My 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 www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Active-Circulars/cl0046_2013.pdf.

The most recent figures available indicate that 4% of primary schools and 32% of post-primary schools do not operate a book rental schemes.

My Department does not hold information in relation to the average book rental payments by parents at primary or post-primary level.