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Saturday 19 April 2014

Minister Ruairi Quinn insists he's 'closing the gap' with book rental scheme

Education Minister Ruairi Quinn. Photo: Damien Eagers

Education minister Ruairi Quinn has said he is "closing the gap" in schools by allocating funding for book rental schemes to the 20 per cent of primary schools who don't have a scheme in place.

Mr Quinn announced in last year's budget that €5m a year would be given for the next three years to the one in four primary schools that do not already have a rental scheme.

On RTE's Morning Ireland today he defended his decision to exclude schools that already have a book rental scheme in place from new funding and he said he salutes them for committing to their own scheme before now.

Out of some 3,200 primary schools, some 20 per cent of schools do not have a school book rental scheme. The average cost of a primary school child in terms of books is up to €100, the Minister said.

He said: "I'm responding to the cry from parents on the cost of sending their kids to school."

He commended "the leadership of the schools combined with the commitment of parents" at the schools who already have schemes set up.

He said those schools which have an existing scheme will still get €11 per child in the form of the book grant scheme.

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