Next Step in Tackling School Book Costs Welcomed
Barnardos welcomed the launch of “Guidelines for Developing Textbook Rental Schemes in Schools” by the Department of Education and Skills today. The children’s charity has been a long time advocate of introducing book rental schemes in all schools as they have proven to reduce the school book bill to parents.
Barnardos’ CEO Fergus Finlay said ‘Every year our survey highlights to huge financial burden that the cost of school books place on parents. In 2012, we found that the majority of parents are spending on average between €76-€100 for books for a primary school pupil and over €250 for a secondary school pupil with parents paying a lot more when children are commencing the Junior and Leaving Certificate cycles.”
Barnardos School Costs Survey of almost 1,000 parents found that 50% of respondents have access to a book rental scheme in primary school and 40% in secondary school. However, they were very supportive of more schemes being rolled out as they can significantly reduce the costs of buying books and encourage recycling of books.
Mr Finlay added ‘These Guidelines offer very practical advice to schools and parents on how to set up a school book rental scheme and we want all schools to implement them. The Department has allocated €15m to the School Book Grant Scheme in 2013/2014, this money is disseminated to all schools and we urge all principals to use these funds as a starting point. All children deserve to get the best education they can, but the high costs associated with school taints many children’s experience and perception of education and reinforces inequalities in Irish society. School book rental schemes can help reduce these inequalities.’