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  • Northside West

Minister visits Finglas school to announce funding for books

Saturday, 18th January, 2020 9:00am
Minister visits Finglas school to announce funding for books

The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, was at St Malachy’s National School in Finglas last week to announce a €1m investment in a pilot project to provide free school books for a number of DEIS primary schools. He’s pictured above with third class pupil Ella Groves.

Minister visits Finglas school to announce funding for books

The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, was at St Malachy’s National School in Finglas last week to announce a €1m investment in a pilot project to provide free school books for a number of DEIS primary schools. He’s pictured above with third class pupil Ella Groves.

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Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, was in Finglas last week where he announced a new €1 million fund to provide free books in primary schools.

The investment is being made on top of the book grant provided to all schools in the country and follows a commitment in Budget 2020 to introduce an extra support to reduce costs for families and school communities. Around 15,500 children will benefit from the additional funding.

The new pilot, which aims to provide free school books, will be available to more than 100 primary schools which are part of the DEIS programme, in both rural and urban areas.

Announcing the investment at St Malachy’s National School last week, Minister McHugh said: “Around 15,500 children, their families and their schools will benefit from the initiative, which is about reducing costs and easing financial burdens as well as helping to improve children’s education and enjoy the beauty of books.”

The pilot programme will see the book grant increase to €85 per pupil in the participating schools, all of which are in the DEIS programme.

Minister McHugh added: “The additional €1 million funding for these schools effectively means we are now investing four times as much money on book grants for next September. The aim is to provide school books for these children and their families and we hope to build on this.”

“The cost of school books is recognised as a significant element of back to school costs and in line with the overall aim of DEIS to ensure all learners have equal opportunity to fulfil their potential.

“I have decided to focus this funding on DEIS schools, in both urban and rural areas, which cater for high concentrations of students from disadvantaged areas.”

The Department of Education and Skills already provides a book grant of almost €17 million to all recognised primary and post primary schools within the Free Education Scheme in order to provide assistance for books, including book rental schemes, which all schools are encouraged to operate to help reduce costs to parents. 

The Minister added: “The DEIS Plan is the Government’s main policy initiative to tackle educational disadvantage and this additional investment fits with the overall aim of targeting extra resources as closely as possible at those students with the greatest level of need.”

The Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh, pictured at St Malachy’s National School, Finglas, with third class pupils Timur Sevcenko, Kian Franzoni and Ella Groves. PHOTO DARREN KINSELLA

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