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Free primary school book scheme for 563,000 children from September

The extension of free primary school books for school children from September is a great boost for families inWaterford, Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has said.

Nationwide, more than 563,000 pupils will benefit from this important scheme in over 3,227 schools, including 138 special schools.

Senator Cummins said: “Fine Gael is working to reduce the cost of education for families in Waterford and across the country. I know how stressful school and college costs can be for families in Waterford and we in Fine Gael have been working over the past number of years to reduce that burden. The primary school free book scheme removes the cost of books, copybooks and workbooks for hundreds of thousands of families.

“This year, it will be also extended to families with children in secondary school too, up to Junior Cert year. We have also expanded the Hot School Meals scheme to ensure parents don’t have to worry about the lunchboxes either. Fine Gael isreducing college fees and increasing the student grant. This is all aimed at ensuring we can put more money back in your pocket and give your children the best start in life.”

The scheme means no parent will be asked to purchase any schoolbooks, workbooks, or copybooks. Funding will issue to schools this month to allow schools adequate time to prepare for the upcoming school year. Schools will also be given a grant to assist with the additional work required to implement the scheme.

Minister for Special Education Hildegarde Naughton said: “Fine Gael is working to dismantle any barriers to accessing education because we believe in equality of opportunity for everyone.

“Education gives every child an equal start in life. By removing the cost of books and school meals, we are ensuring every child can access school and their parents do not have to worry about the significant cost it can bring.

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