Circulars 35/91 & M54/91
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Circular Letter to Principal Teachers and Chairpersons of Boards of Management of National Schools and Management
Authorities of Post-Primary Schools.
School-Books Loan/Rental Schemes
The Minister for Education wishes me to convey her concern that all possible measures would
be taken to minimise the financial burden on parents in the provision of school text books and
requisites for their children. The Minister is anxious that management authorities should
implement a school policy, in cooperation with parents, which would ensure the efficient use
of school books and minimise the cost for parents.
An you are aware, the operation of a loan scheme has been recommended in the
Department's annual circular. Schemes are already in operation in a large number of schools.
Some schools now operate combined loan/rental schemes under which rent in the case of
needy pupils is either waived or reduced through the use of funds available from the
Department’s school books grant schemes for necessitous children.
The Minister urges all schools to operate loan/rental scheme with due regard to the following
three categories of pupils:
? pupils who would warrant maximum support from the scheme these should be
required to pay no rent but the appropriate rent could be paid from the school book
grant to the school;
? pupils who would warrant less than maximum support - these should pay an
appropriately reduced rent subsidised from the school book grant;
? Pupils who would not warrant any support – these should pay the full economic rent.
Guidelines for an appropriate scheme. based on existing good practice are attached as an aid
The Minister looks forward to your cooperation In this matter.
30th August, 1991.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Guidelines for the operation of a loan/rental scheme for
1. Parents should be consulted in the first instance in order to get their agreement to the
operation of the scheme. The cooperation of parents and school staff is essential to
the success of a scheme. The main benefits for parents would be
- significant savings in the cost to them of text books.
- availability of books from the beginning of the school year.
- access to a greater range of text books than would otherwise be feasible.
- avoidance of travelling and queuing for books at shops.
2. The initial capital required to buy a stock of books could be raised through a bank
loan and/or through subscriptions from parents who will get future financial benefit
from the scheme. A bank loan could be repaid over a short number of years out of
the rental income. A membership fee for pupils joining the scheme for the first time
could also be considered.
3. The yearly rental charge should be pitched at a level sufficient to buy additional or
replacement books an required and to repay any loan taken out to buy the initial stock
of books. This charge should be reviewed on a year to year basis.
4. The scheme should be confined to books suitable for re-use. Good quality
secondhand books or new books would be bought. In buying books durability, such
as the quality of the binding, would be an important factor. Books might be bought
from pupils and past pupils as well as from local booksellers. Discounts and/or credit
terms could be negotiated with booksellers for bulk purchases.
5. The scheme could be administered by a post holder. Parents and senior pupils could
assist in the cataloguing of the books, applying the school’s identification marks e.g.
the school stamp, and sorting the books into the individual lots for each pupil. The
required books would be given to pupils on the first day of the school year. Each
pupil would sign a receipt which would be retained in the school. The rental charge
and membership fee if applicable would have been paid by parents in advance.
6. The books would be returned by pupils at the end of the rental period. Lost or
damaged books would be paid for by pupils/parents.
7. The book grant for necessitous pupils would be used to pay the rental charges and
membership fee (if applicable) for such pupils.