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Book grants 2022

Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 30/05/2022. Book grants 2022Tags: Educations And Politics

Once-off funding of €20 million is available to enable all recognised primary and post-primary schools in the Free Education Scheme to purchase books, audio books and other media for the purposes of improving their existing literacy-resource banks.

The funding being provided must be used exclusively to improve schools' existing literacy-resource banks. It is not intended for the purchase of textbooks and should not be used to supplement the book-grant funding currently provided annually to all recognised primary and post-primary schools within the Free Education Scheme in order to alleviate the cost of school books for parents. The funding provision will be supported by public libraries under the Public Library Supports for Schools, in order to assist schools in planning expenditure of their grant funding.

Minister Foley announces €20 million School Library Book Grant

Grant amount

The grant to schools is paid in line with recognised pupil enrolment on 30 September 2021. The grant paid to primary schools with an enrolment of equal to or less than 60 pupils is based on a minimum enrolment of 60 pupils. The grant rate is €21 per pupil/student for all recognised primary and post-primary schools in the Free Education Scheme. Schools are not required to apply for this grant funding, the grants are paid directly to schools.

School context and planning

Every school is unique, as is their stock of books, audio books and other media available within each school. Schools need to consider their own specific situation and the students/pupils within the school when planning the expenditure of the grants monies received.

Schools need to consider the following;

  • assess the existing collections within the school in order to identify any gaps

  • what supports can be accessed to help, and who is responsible for these?

  • consideration of services already available to schools from the Public Library Service to support the school in achieving its vision in relation to enhance the collection such as class loans and teachers’ library cards

  • stock selection: identification of books, audio books and other media to address needs and fill any gaps

  • enhancing/setting up the school’s library space; this can be in a dedicated space within the school or within the classroom

  • public procurement obligations

  • monitoring and review of the collection

  • support measures for schools to purchase books, audio books and other material support is being provided so as to ensure that schools can make best use of the grant funding in order to increase the literacy resources within their schools. In this regard, the Department is working with the Public Library Service. The Public Library Supports for Schools are jointly agreed by the Department of Education and the Department of Rural and Community Development. Public libraries will provide additional measures and resources in a two-step approach in order to support the rollout of the grants for the purchase of books, audio books and other material.

Step one

The first webinar below covers:

  • assessing the library collection

  • the practical process of selecting a meaningful book collection for each school

  • reading lists and resources developed by libraries and Children’s Books Ireland

  • library services supporting schools, emphasising the benefits of class visits, the range of services available, including classroom sets, teachers’ resources, online resources etc.

A second set of webinars will take place early in the 2022/2023 school year, focussing on maximising the new collection and again linking into library services and the much broader range of resources libraries can offer to support:

  • Reader development/engagement

  • Setting up a library including shelving and display, lending management

Step two

Each library service will communicate with the schools within its local authority area, outlining the levels of supports that the individual library service can provide locally to the schools within the local authority catchment, based on local resources.

Links to other supports:

Libraries services

Children's Books Ireland

Tender procedures and record keeping

All purchases must be in compliance with public procurement procedures, which ensures best value for money. Written quotes should be sought and a full record of the procurement retained for future reference and examination in accordance with public procurement rules.

Support is available for schools from the Schools Procurement Unit (SPU) through their website or by email .

A helpful SPU guide, Guidance for Schools on Good Procurement Practices is available on the SPU website. The Office of Government Procurement also provides support and information at

The board of management must establish a set of procedures governing purchasing and should set out the arrangements for tendering and buying of goods, payment of invoices and maintenance of accounting records. These rules are clearly set out in the Guidance for Schools on Good Procurement Practices, available to download from this link .

Grant funding, management and compliance

Grants for the purchase of books, audio books and other material will be paid directly to schools. Schools are not required to apply for this funding. As with allexchequer grant-aid, school authorities must be able to provide detailed records on how funding, provided under this scheme, was spent. All expenditure in connection with the scheme must be vouched and schools must be able to prove that expenditure was used on the purchase of materials allowed under the scheme.

Invoices and receipts must be retained in the event of an audit inspection by the Department and/or the Comptroller and Auditor General. It is necessary for schools to keep details of quotations received, invoices, receipts and any other relevant records in respect of all expenditure for a period of seven years. Schools, on request, must provide the Department with a written statement of the expenditure of the grant and any remaining balances and other relevant information. If a school closes permanently, any balance held in the account must be surrendered to the Department on the date that the school ceases operation. The Department reserves the right to recoup funding issued from other grant funding the school receives for non-compliance with any of the terms of this Scheme.

Schools must ensure compliance with the below Circular 13/2014, Management of and Accountability for Grants from Exchequer Funds.


Financial Support Services Unit (FSSU): non-ETB sectors

All recognised Primary, Voluntary Secondary, Community and Comprehensive schools are required to submit accounts to the Financial Support Services Unit (FSSU) annually. This satisfies the requirement under Section 18 of the Education Act 1998 for schools to make available their accounts for inspection by the Minister.

Schools may be subject to audit by the FSSU as part of its ongoing programme of work in supporting schools on financial governance matters and enabling them to comply with the provisions of the Education Act 1998 in terms of accountability, transparency and financial responsibility for State funds.

ETB schools

The Annual Financial Statements of the ETBs are audited by the C&AG and are laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas, while the Internal Audit Unit for the ETB sector provides assurance to the Audit Committee of the ETBs that the system of internal control as implemented by executive management is adequate and operates effectively.

Minister Foley announces €20 million School Library Book Grant



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