Circular Letter 3591 & M5491 - School-Books LoanRental Schemes

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Circular Letter 3591 & M5491 - School-Books LoanRental Schemes

     Circulars 35/91 & M54/91


    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

    to schools.

The Minister looks forward to your cooperation In this matter.

C.N. Lindsay


30th August, 1991.



Guidelines for the operation of a loan/rental scheme for

    school books

    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.

August, 1991.


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