Book rental extended to all schools
Money for book-rental schemes is now being offered to all primary schools.
There was an outcry following the last Budget when Education Minister Ruairi Quinn invited schools that did not already operate a rental scheme to apply for funding to set one up.
The incentive was criticised by schools and parents that had taken the initiative to set up a scheme at their own expense.
The fund is worth a total of €15m and take-up, so far, by about 400 schools, will cost about €6.7m, benefiting 63,000 pupils and their families.
Schools in disadvantaged areas, known as DEIS schools, will receive €150 per child and other schools will receive €100 per child over the next two years.
Now Mr Quinn has announced that the remaining €8.3m will be divided among all other primary schools that currently operate book rental schemes.
These schools are expected to receive €18 per pupil, or €20 in DEIS schools, over those two years. This is on top of the annual book grant of €15m which is paid on a per pupil basis.