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24th Jul 2023

Free school books scheme being considered for secondary school students

Kat O'Connor

Government is considering extending the free school books scheme to secondary school students.

The move would have a significant financial impact on parents as they continue to struggle amid the cost of living crisis.

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said the move would help a major number of parents and guardians with back-to-school costs.

He told Newstalk that introducing the scheme will help “remove money from the education conversation”.

“What we are trying to do here is to remove money from the education conversation, because too many parents, when it comes to school life, unfortunately, think about money,” he shared.

The free school books scheme has been introduced in primary schools.

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.

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 will eliminate the cost to families for all schoolbooks, workbooks, as well as copybooks.

“The scheme will benefit more than 558,000 pupils nationally in approximately 3,230 primary schools.”

Schools will receive €96 for each pupil enrolled.