Free schoolbooks for all primary children after €50 million Government grants
Great news for families set to deal with back-to-school costs.
The Government has announced that payments of over €50 million are being made to primary schools across Ireland to provide free schoolbooks to pupils within the free education scheme from September this year.
In a statement on its website, the Government described the new funding package secured in Budget 2023 as "ground-breaking" and a "landmark".
It said it will see free schoolbooks provided in all primary and special schools in a permanent measure that is designed to ease some of the financial burden facing families with back-to-school costs.
The grant payments are being made to primary and special schools this week, with the Government stating that they will eliminate the cost to families for all schoolbooks, workbooks and copybooks.
"The scheme will benefit more than 558,000 pupils nationally in approximately 3,230 primary schools, including over 130 special schools," the statement reads.
Schools are set to receive €96 for each pupil enrolled, with the scheme involving a total spend of €53,584,032.
On the grants, Education Minister Norma Foley stated: "While it is imperative that every child in Ireland has the resources required to access education, the Government recognises that back-to-school costs can be a source of financial difficulty for many families every year.
"Grant payments being made this week as part of this ground-breaking new scheme will mean that parents or guardians will no longer need to buy or rent schoolbooks, workbooks or copybooks for their children.
"Schools will now have the funding required to cover the costs of providing these items ahead of the start of the new school year, helping to ensure that every child has the same opportunity to access and reap the benefits of education."
Meanwhile, Minister for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan added: "By providing children with free schoolbooks, we are enhancing their educational experience not just in the classroom, but in their families and communities also.
"This is particularly true for our pupils in special schools and classes across the country.
"I am delighted to see the flexible delivery of this scheme, which empowers schools and class teachers to use the grant as best suits the needs of the classroom."
Guidance for schools and information for parents on how the new free schoolbooks scheme will operate has been published by the Department of Education on the Government's website right here.