Sunday 19 May 2024
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Contact Details T: 086 8903154 Email : johnpaul.oshea@cllr.corkcoco.ie

Government Announces Details of New Scheme to Eliminate Cost of Schoolbooks for Families of Junior Cycle Students

Government Announces Details of New Scheme to Eliminate Cost of Schoolbooks for Families of Junior Cycle Students

The Government has this week announced details of a new ground-breaking scheme which provides free schoolbooks to Junior Cycle students in post-primary schools in the Free Education Scheme.

More than 212,000 students enrolled in approximately 670 post-primary schools, will benefit from the new scheme.

Schools will also separately be provided with an Administration Support Grant to assist with the roll-out and implementation of the scheme and to relieve any additional administrative burden.

The investment of over €68 million in 2024 significantly increases the funding that is currently provided for schoolbooks and introduces a free schoolbooks scheme to Junior Cycle years in all post-primary schools in the Free Education Scheme. It reinforces the Government’s commitment to expand the free schoolbooks scheme to schools nationwide, as resources allow.

This scheme will ensure that parents and guardians of students enrolled in Junior Cycle years in post-primary schools in the Free Education Scheme will not be asked to buy or rent any schoolbooks for the 2024/25 school year.

The scheme will provide, at a minimum, free schoolbooks, and core classroom resources for all students in Junior Cycle years in post-primary schools in the free scheme in the 2024/25 school year, easing the financial burdens facing families during back-to-school time.

Special schools in which children and young people with special educational needs are enrolled in Junior Cycle programmes will also receive the Junior Cycle rate in respect of these students in 2024/25.

North Cork Fine Gael Councillor John Paul O’Shea said “This ground-breaking, permanent measure will ease some of the financial burden facing families with back-to-school costs. The transition from primary to post-primary can put an increased financial burden on families, and I am delighted to see that children and young people will now benefit from the free schoolbooks scheme as they progress through the Junior Cycle”.

As with the primary school scheme, schools have the flexibility to use funding to purchase classroom resources to meet the specific learning needs of students once the cost of schoolbooks and core classroom resources are met. This flexibility is particularly important for students with special educational needs.

The objective of the new scheme is about ensuring every child and young person enrolled in Junior Cycle years in post-primary schools in the Free Education Scheme have the resources required to access education and easing the financial burdens surrounding the back-to-school costs, which can be a cause of financial difficulty for many families each year.

This new scheme means that:

  • Schoolbooks, and core classroom resources such as journals, copybooks, dictionaries and calculators will be provided for all students in Junior Cycle years in post-primary schools in the Free Education Scheme. There is no need parents or guardians to buy or rent these items
  • Schools will be provided with sufficient funding to cover the costs of providing these items
  • Schoolbooks are the property of the school and must be returned at the end of the school year or the Junior Cycle
  • Schools will be provided with additional administration support in the form of an Administration Support Grant

To support the administration of this scheme, the Department is allocating an Administration Support Grant to post-primary schools for the 2024/25 school year, based on the size of the school, to assist with any additional work required in order to implement the scheme. Schools may use this grant to employ an individual to carry out administrative work on the scheme or use the money towards other administrative costs associated with implementing the scheme.

The Department is issuing guidance for post-primary schools and any post-primary schools with queries about the scheme can contact the Department directly.

The Department has published guidance for schools and information for parents on how the new scheme will operate here