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Report highlights benefits of school book lending scheme – Deputy Seán Crowe

29 May, 2012 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin’s Education Spokesperson Seán Crowe, TD, has supported the findings of a report compiled by the Department of Education that suggests school book rental schemes could reduce family bills for school books by as much as 80%.

Deputy Crowe said;

“Three quarters of primary schools already have a book rental scheme in place but to date there has been a slow uptake from secondary schools to get involved in the scheme.

“This is disappointing, particularly considering the very real savings that parents can make when a book rental scheme is available.

“For the past year I have been urging Education Minister Ruairí Quinn to introduce measures that would encourage schools to have in place a more affordable method of paying for school books. He should do all within his power to force the publishers of school textbooks to reduce their prices and stop printing unnecessary revised editions.

“Last year a Barnardo's study found that the average cost of equipping a child to attend junior infants was €350 and €805 for second level. Despite the hefty costs imposed on parents, the minister’s efforts to pressurise publishing companies into adopting more ethical polices have met with little success. The fact that they would only agree to implement a voluntary code of practice means it is unlikely that a fairer system will be put in place and families will still be forced to meet the unacceptably high costs of paying for school text books.

“We know that the economic crisis is having a serious impact on more and more families and the cost of sending a child to school can be reduced through a wide range of measures. The figures in this report highlight some of the savings that could be made by having a book lending scheme available in all schools and this would also go some of the way in alleviating the financial burden on parents when sending their children to school.”


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