Thursday 27 November 2014

Mum-of-five is in charge of school rental scheme - but still faces €300 bill for sons

Published 04/09/2014 | 02:30

Linda O'Shea from Waterford City with her sons, Daniel, 5th year St. Paul's and Jack, 6th class, Scoil Lorcáin with some of their school books. Picture: Patrick Browne
Linda O'Shea from Waterford City with her sons, Daniel, 5th year St. Paul's and Jack, 6th class, Scoil Lorcáin with some of their school books. Picture: Patrick Browne

MOTHER-of-five Linda O'Shea will have to pay hundreds of euro on school books for her children this academic year, despite the rental schemes in their schools.

The Waterford resident is herself in charge of the book rental scheme in her son's secondary school. But Ms O'Shea will still be faced with bills in excess of €300 for her two school-going children this September.

While some schools offer a book rental scheme that covers all books for all children, others can only provide a limited amount or just offer the core textbooks, with parents having to pay for the excess.

Ms O'Shea said that for her 12-year-old son, who will be starting sixth class this year, she will be required to pay a €25 fee for the rental of his textbooks. However, she also spent €80 on workbooks and even more on copy books.

Her next child will be enrolling in fifth year in September, and his book rental alone costs €100.

Ms O'Shea is also the spokesperson for the National Parents Council for Post-Primary Schools.

"I would like to see book rentals in all schools, and if not, the price of books to come down," she told the Irish Independent.

A spokesperson for the Department of Education and Skills said that from a survey it conducted last year, it was found that a book rental scheme is operated in 84pc of primary schools, as well as 68pc of secondary schools.

It has rolled out an additional €15m plan for the remaining 553 schools that did not have a book rental scheme, and 431 of these now plan to establish one.

They will receive €100 per pupil for the next two years, while DEIS schools will receive €150. The remainder has been made available to schools that currently operate schemes. They should expect to receive €18 per child over the coming two years, while DEIS schools will receive €21 per pupil.

EMMA JANE HADE

Irish Independent

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