Book Grant Scheme

Book Grant Application

Book Grant

2023/24

Are you in need of financial assistance?

The Book Grant is for those who face particular financial hardship.

An amount may be awarded to you depending on your circumstances.

Please complete the form which is available from the school office or on this website and return the hardcopy to the principal by 07/08/2023.

Please note: this voucher scheme is run through Newsround. Books should not be purchased prior to a decision being made. We recommend you ask for books to be put aside until you hear from us.

*The purpose of this form is to gather information to facilitate the school’s provision of a service that best meets your son’s educational, pastoral, social and health development needs. All data gathered is retained in accordance with the school’s Data Protection Policy which is available on the website at www.stmelscollege.ie

School Books Grant Scheme for Needy Pupils – 2023/2024


1. Introduction


1.1 I am directed by the Minister for Education and Science to refer to the scheme of grants towards the cost of providing school textbooks for needy pupils in second-level schools and to say that the scheme will operate again in 2023.


1.2 The Minister wishes to again acknowledge the sensitive, responsive and resourceful manner in which the management and staff of schools, particularly the Principals, have operated the scheme to date. The Minister looks forward to continued co-operation in serving the interests of the most needy pupils.


2. Eligibility of Pupils


2.1 The scheme applies to needy pupils in schools in the free education scheme.


2.2 A needy pupil is defined as a pupil from a family where there is genuine hardship. Such families may be grouped into the following three categories:


➢ Families who are mainly dependent on social welfare payments;


➢ Families on low incomes from employment. (Such families are likely to be in receipt of the Family Income Supplement, which is a weekly cash payment by the Department of Social and Family Affairs to help families at work on low pay, or to be beneficiaries under the Back-to-School Clothing and Footwear Scheme);


➢ Families who are experiencing financial hardship because of particular circumstances in the home. (It is expected that only a small proportion will fall within this category).


2.3 Participants in VTOS, Youthreach and PLC programmes, who are supported by other arrangements, are ineligible under this Scheme. Pupils who are in the care of foster families under arrangements made by the relevant Health Board are also ineligible. Support for such pupils is a matter for the Health Board.


2.4 A pupil who transfers from one second-level school to another after the commencement of the school year is ineligible in the second school unless the Principal is satisfied that assistance was not already given under this scheme or that any books already supplied in the current school year have been returned.

2.5 The amount and form of assistance given to eligible pupils is a matter for individual schools subject to the terms of the scheme.


3. Medical Card Holders


3.1 Entitlement to a medical card is not necessarily an indicator of eligibility. In this regard, other factors should
be taken into account when assessing pupils’ eligibility.


4. Book Loan/Rental schemes operated by schools


4.1 The Minister urges management authorities and principals to adopt to the greatest extent possible the
suggestions for textbook loan/rental schemes outlined in Circular M54/91 and in the Code of Good Practice
outlined in the Cooney/Carey “School Books in Ireland” report which was issued to schools in 1994.


4.2 In the case of schools designated as disadvantaged and which are participating in DEIS, additional
seed capital funding may be available to assist in the establishment of book loan/rental schemes. This
seed capital is only payable in respect of needy pupils.


5. Application for allocation under the scheme


5.1 Applications for grants, for both school textbooks and for seed capital, should be submitted on the attached
form. Faxed or photocopied application forms will not be accepted. Funding will be allocated on the
basis of applications received on or before 2nd April 2008. Applications received after this date risk being
excluded from consideration.


5.2 Applications may be submitted by individual secondary, community and comprehensive schools. In the
case of VECs, an overall application form should be submitted in respect of the relevant scheme as a whole,
based on information received from their second-level schools. In addition, VECs should include with
their application form details of the breakdown of the numbers of needy pupils for each school
under their aegis (copies of application forms completed by individual schools will be accepted in
this regard).


5.3 To enable the issue of grants prior to the start of 2008/09 school year, applications should include the
number of eligible pupils assisted in 2007/08 as funding will be calculated on the basis of this information.


6. General


6.1 A copy of this circular letter should be provided to the appropriate representatives of parents/teachers for
transmission to individual parents and teachers. Schools should also clearly establish and publicise
eligibility criteria.


6.2 School authorities should endeavour to establish a written application procedure for those wishing to avail
of assistance. As far as is practicable, documented records in connection with the scheme should be
maintained.


6.3 Separate accounts should be maintained for the Book Grant and any book loan/rental scheme that is being
operated.


6.4 Guidelines as to how the scheme might best operate at school level are included in the Appendix to this
Circular Letter.


6.5 Educationally, it is recognized that textbooks have to be changed periodically to ensure that content and
methodology are kept up to date. However, mindful of the need to minimise the cost burden for parents in
respect of the purchase of textbooks, the Department wishes to advise school authorities that books should
be changed only to the extent that it is absolutely necessary.


6.6 If you have any queries in relation to the contents of this circular, you may contact either Mr. Brian
Masterson at (01) 889 2046 or Mr. Michael Power at (01) 889 2049 in the Qualifications, Curriculum and
Assessment Policy Unit.


6.7 This circular is also available on the Department’s website at www.education.ie

Margaret Kelly
Principal Officer
Qualifications, Curriculum and Assessment Policy Unit

School Books Grant Scheme for Needy Pupils

May 21
2024
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May 22
2024
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May 24
2024
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2024
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