Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh has today announced 20 primary schools in Donegal are to benefit from a new €1million fund for free books.
The investment is being made on top of the book grant provided to all schools and follows a commitment to in Budget 2020 to introduce an extra support to reduce costs for families and school communities.
Announcing the investment Minister McHugh said: “This is a huge boost for our schools. I am delighted to be able to announce additional funding of €1million for a new pilot programme to provide books in primary schools.
“We have targeted this initially at schools in the DEIS programme. And thousands of children, their families and their schools will benefit from the initiative, including more than 1,100 children in Donegal alone.
“It 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 said: “The additional €1m 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 books is recognised as a significant issue when it comes to school and this extra money is part and parcel of the Government trying to do more to ensure all children have equal opportunity to fulfil their potential.
The Department of Education and Skills already provides a book grant of almost €17million to all recognised primary and post-primary schools within the Free Education Scheme in order to provide assistance for books, including book rental schemes and all schools are encouraged to operate book rental schemes to help alleviate costs to parents.
Minister McHugh said: “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 following schools are participating in the additional funding scheme in Donegal.
SCOIL AN AINGIL CHOIMHEÁDAI, Ailt An Chorráin/Burtonport
SCOIL FHIONÁIN, Baile Chonaill, An Fhál Carrach/Falcarragh
S N LOCH AN IUBHAIR, Loch an Iúir / Loughanure
SCOIL NAOMH IÓSAF, Connaghkinnego, Buncrana
S N NA GCLUAINTE, Cloontagh NS, Cloontagh, Clonmany
SN ARAINN MHOR II, Scoil Athphoirt, Aranmore
SN ARAINN MHOR I, Aranmore NS
S N DUCHORAIDH, Duchoraidh/Doochary
SCOIL NAOMH CHOLMCILLE, Oileán Thoraí/ Tory Island
SCOIL MHUIRE, Pettigo
MURROE NATIONAL SCHOOL, Dunfanaghy
SCOIL CHOLMCHILLE, Ballymena, Glengad
SCOIL BHRIGHDE, Mín an Chladaigh, Gort a Choirce/ Gortahork
SCOIL NAOMH DUBHTHACH, Machaire Uí Rabhartaigh, Gort a Choirce / Gortahork
S N CNOC NA NAOMH, Gort a Choirce, Gortahork
S N TAOBHÓIGE, An Clochán, Leifearr/ Cloghan
SCOIL NÁISIÚNTA MUIRE GAN SMÁL, Townparks, Lifford
SCOIL NAOMH TREASA C, Lifford
SCOIL CUILM CILLE, Ballindrait, Lifford/ Cloughfin NS
SCOIL ADHAMHNAIN, Raphoe / St. Eunan’s NS Raphoe