Every year approximately €15 million is allocated to schools to help with the cost of school books. Schools have the discretion to use this grant aid from the Department of Education either to help individual low income pupils or to set up school book rental schemes to benefit all pupils. Schools have responded differently to parental need, with some schools working hard to set up schemes to keep costs down, while other schools have decided to give individual aid to struggling families.
Today, we welcome the announcement of an additional €5million allocation this year for schools who have not yet set up book rental schemes. This supports our lobbying efforts to reduce school costs for hard-pressed parents and is a positive result for the work SVP has carried out, along with Barnardos and the National Parents Council on a variety of initiatives to reduce school costs for parents.
While we fully understand the frustration of those schools that have been working hard to respond to parents' needs by setting up and maintaining school book rental schemes and will not benefit from today's additional funding ,making funding available for book rental schemes will encourage more schools to get involved easing stress on more parents. This can only been seen as a positive step and will enable more parents to push their school to set a rental scheme and save them money.
SVP acknowledges those principals, parents' associations and Boards of Management who have been working hard to keep school costs down for parents and will continue to work alongside them to meet need.