Only 52% of secondary schools in Wicklow operate School Book Rental Scheme – Brady
Sinn Féin TD for Wicklow/East Carlow John Brady has called on the Minister for Education Richard Bruton to address the cost of school books in this year’s budget after it has emerged that just over half of all secondary schools in County Wicklow provide the School Book Rental Scheme.
Teachta Brady was commenting on figures released by the Department of Education and Skills which give a county breakdown of the number of schools that operate the school book rental scheme.
Teachta Brady said:
“We have seen from recent surveys carried out by Barnardos and the Irish League of Credit Unions that the cost of school books remains one of the significant costs of sending children back to school.
“Figures released by the Department of Education show clearly that there is an uneven spread of school book rental schemes in secondary schools across the state.
“In Wicklow, just 52% of secondary schools operate a book rental scheme while 100% of secondary schools in Leitrim do so.
“At primary level, 95% of primary schools in County Wicklow provide the School Book Rental Scheme. This is very welcome and without doubt, assists many parents in some way with back to school costs.
“While we need to see a greater increase in the uptake of the School Book Rental Scheme across the State, there are other issues the Government need to address. The continuous updates and newly revised editions of textbooks as well as the addition of workbooks in many subjects which cannot be reused are adding costs. This is an issue that must be tackled.
“The Government must tackle increasing school costs in Budget 2017.
“Sinn Féin has called for an increase of 30% in the School Books Grant at an approximate cost of €5 million in order to make affordable school books more accessible to students.”