17 April, 2014 - Minister Quinn announces all primary schools to be offered funding from school book rental scheme capital fund

Approximately 400 primary schools will receive funding to establish book rental schemes shortly

The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., is announcing that all primary schools who currently operate a school book rental scheme will be able to benefit from the €15 million School Book Rental Scheme Fund which he secured as part of Budget 2014. 

Last October, the Minister announced that the €15 million fund would be targeted specifically at primary schools who did not currently operate a book rental scheme.  The Department of Education has received applications from approximately 400 such schools to date.

531 schools who previously indicated that they did not have book loan schemes were invited to apply for the funding.  Of these, three quarters of these schools have now applied. 

DEIS schools will receive €150 per child and non-DEIS schools will receive €100 per child in seed capital funding over the next two years to establish book rental schemes.  This will cost approximately €6.7 million and is expected to benefit more than 63,000 pupils and their families. 

Minister Quinn has now decided that the balance of the fund, some €8.3 million, will be divided among all other primary schools that currently operate book rental schemes, in 2015 and 2016.  These schools are expected to receive a total of €18 per pupil or €20 in DEIS schools over those two years.  This is on top of the annual book grant of €15 million which is paid to all schools on a per pupil basis. This forms part of the Minister’s wider agenda to tackle the high costs of going to school for parents. 

“Every primary school in the country has now the opportunity to benefit from the School Book Rental Scheme funding we secured through the proceeds of the sale of the national Lottery.”

“When I first announced this scheme which targeted only primary schools who were not operating a Book Rental Scheme, many of the other schools voiced their concern at being left out, despite the hard work of many parents and teachers to establish such schemes.”

“I indicated that after the initial first round of funding was allocated that we could examine the scheme again and I am delighted that we will be able to provide an extra boost to these other schools which should allow them to expand or replace some books on their own schemes.”

“Every primary school has now been given the opportunity to benefit from the funding I secured for book rental schemes.  I believe that all parents should have access to a school book rental scheme enabling them to significantly reduce the costs of sending a child to school,” said the Minister. 

€5 million in seed capital funds for approximately 400 schools to establish book rental schemes will be distributed later this month in order to give the schools time to do so for the next school year, using the Guidelines issues by the Department in January 2013.  The balance of the funding, €1.7 million, will be distributed to qualifying schools in 2015.

Provisions are also being made for new primary schools due to open in September to receive this funding.  All other primary schools that currently operate book rental schemes will receive their share of the funding in 2015 and 2016. 


Notes for Editors:

The eligibility criteria for funding under the Seed Capital Grant Scheme for Book Loan/Rental Schemes is as follows:

(a) The school authorities must undertake to establish a textbook loan/rental scheme (covering either hard copy or electronic books) for the main textbooks used by the students in accordance with best practice contained in the Guidelines for Developing Textbook Rental Schemes in Schools for a minimum of 5 years. A book loan/rental scheme will normally have to achieve a life of approximately five years for each textbook, for it to break even.

(b) The school must confirm that it did not operate a school textbook loan/rental scheme in the school year 2013/14.

(c) The school must agree to maintain and furnish financial and other records regarding the establishment, maintenance and operation of the textbook loan/rental scheme to the Department, on request. All funding provided will be used exclusively for the purposes of establishing a textbook loan/rental scheme.

Distribution of remaining funding:

Following the distribution of seed capital funding to qualifying primary schools it is estimated that there will be €8.3 million remaining in the fund.

It has been decided to distribute this money to primary schools who currently operate school book rental schemes in 2015 and 2016 in order to allow them to supplement their existing school book rental schemes.  These schools will receive €18 per pupil in non-DEIS schools and €20 per pupil in DEIS schools over that two year period or €7 or €8 per pupil in 2015 and €11 or €12 in 2016. 

Existing funding provided to schools for books:

The book grant is paid to all recognised primary schools and all post-primary schools within the Free Education Scheme, with DEIS schools receiving an enhanced rate. It is paid in June each year for the following school year. For both 2012 and 2013, €15 million was ring-fenced for the programme.

Book Grants to Schools for 2012 and for 2013

School type

Primary schools

Rate per capita*

Post-primary Schools in the Free Scheme

Rate per capita

DEIS schools€21€39
Non-DEIS schools€11€24

* A minimum grant is paid to small primary schools based on an enrolment of 60 pupils