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Matthews Raises Cost of School Books with Minister for Education

Deputy Steven Matthews, Green Party TD for Wicklow, has written to the Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD, to ask for Government funding and supports for initiatives that encourage the re-use of schoolbooks. Discussing the cost of schoolbooks, Deputy Matthews said:

“New editions of schoolbooks are published almost every year, and this places an unnecessary burden on parents and families, who are struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. The expense of schoolbooks contributes significantly to the overall cost of sending children back-to-school.

“Having to purchase new schoolbooks each September is both an expensive and wasteful practice. While there are eBooks available, these can often only be accessed by purchasing a copy of the paper book and entering a code that can only be used once. We need to start thinking about how we can promote sustainable practices when it comes to schoolbooks.

“I have been in contact with local schools on this issue and many of them would like to introduce initiatives that encourage the re-use of books. For example, one teacher suggested to me that schools could designate a role for the sustainable management of schoolbooks to a member of staff. Each school will have their own ideas on how to re-use books and save resources.

“I have written to the Minister for Education, Norma Foley TD, to request funding and supports for sustainable book management schemes in schools. Alongside the recent increase in the Back-to-School Allowance, expansion of the School Meals Programme and waiving of school transport fees, this could be an additional measure that has the win of both being environmentally friendly and a huge potential money saver.

“Encouraging the re-use and rental of books is in line with the Programme for Government. My priority is to reduce the cost of education for families and prevent the waste of resources. If any other schools are interested in sustainable book management initiatives, I would encourage them to get in touch with me directly and I will offer any support I can”, concluded Deputy Matthews.

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