St. Coen's

Book Rental Policy


  1. Introduction
  2. Rationale
  3. Objectives
  4. Role of Rental Scheme Co-ordinator
  5. Funding & Fees
  6. Book Rental Scheme Operations
  7. Minimising Loss and Damage
  8. Ancillary materials
  9. Frequently Asked Questions

1. Introduction

St. Coen’s National School has operated a Book Rental Scheme for many years. This initiative was supported financially by the school. Subsequently, a Book Rental Scheme Co-ordinator was appointed to manage the start-up process and organise the operation of the Book Rental Scheme. Establishing the Book Rental Scheme was a very onerous task and would not have been possible to achieve without the support of a dedicated group of parents and teachers. In St. Coen’s National School, the Book Rental Scheme has expanded over the years to include a wide choice of reading schemes and workbooks in English. It also includes an extensive range of workbooks in Mathematics, Gaeilge and Social Environmental and Scientific Education (S.E.S.E.).

2. Rationale

There is general consensus among educationalists that learning materials are critical to effective and efficient learning in the classroom.

A greater variety of books and increased student interaction with materials leads to increased learning outcomes. Textbooks are a fundamental example of learning materials.

The revised Curriculum 1999 clearly emphasises that children ought to experience as wide a range of books as possible. It states that the child’s “reading experience should be as rich and varied as possible. This can only be realised through the consistent use of well-stocked school and class libraries as well as through the use of reading schemes” Teacher Guidelines, pg.3

There are numerous programmes on the market that offer a wide selection of readers in various genres. Textbook rental schemes therefore provide a valuable educational response to many of the problems confronting parents/guardians and teachers due to prohibitive costs and diversity.

3. Objectives

The Book Rental Scheme has the following key objectives:

  • to increase the number of reading books available to every child
  • to increase the variety of text books readily available
  • to foster and develop a love of reading
  • to offer a wide selection of workbooks in English, Irish, Mathematics and S.E.S.E.
  • to cater for the new ancillary materials in English, Irish, SESE and Mathematics
  • to extend the scope and sequence of standardised reading material available
  • to embrace children’s ability from lowest to highest levels
  • to keep book bills to an absolute minimum

4. Rental Scheme Co-ordinator

The role of the Book Rental Co-ordinator is to:

  • attend book launches of the main book companies and report back to staff on new publications
  • organise in-school displays of new publications
  • reach a consensus amongst the staff on book stock to be purchased
  • purchase the new books
  • stamp and catalogue all new books
  • source and purchase suitable protective covers for books
  • organise covering of books
  • set up storage space in the school library, corridors or relevant cabinets
  • store and catalogue the books to be rented out
  • on-going repair and maintenance of books
  • replace damaged books
  • update book stock as appropriate
  • collect and re-organise all Book Rental materials at year-end
  • re-distribute all Book Rental materials at beginning of each academic year

5. Funding and Fees

A Book Rental fee is levied on parents via each child’s book bill. The Book Rental Co-ordinator sets an appropriate Book Rental fee which is levied on each child’s book bill annually. In this manner the Scheme is completely self-financing.

The funds are deposited in the school’s bank account. This bank account is reviewed and approved by the Board of Management and is checked by the Auditor and Accountant annually.

The quota of new book orders is adjusted annually to meet demands and fit within the total budget. All books in the Rental Scheme are the property of the school.

Parents/guardians and children assume responsibility for all books rented over the course of the school year. When damage or loss occurs, parents/guardians are required to pay the current replacement cost of the book and cover.

It is important that proper care is taken of the book stock in order that the expenditure can be fully funded from book rental fees.

The Rental Scheme’s greatest expenses occur with the introduction of new book schemes to support the expanding curriculum in all subject areas.

6. Book Rental Scheme Operations

The Book Rental Co-ordinator undertakes the overall management and the day to day organisation of the scheme. Rental fees are agreed for each class group by the Book Rental Scheme Co-ordinator.

Fluctuations of student numbers do not impact the operations of the scheme as there is a sufficient stock of books available at each level.

Suggestions for inclusion of new texts are discussed on a regular basis at Staff Meetings.

The Book Rental Scheme does not include workbooks that the children write in themselves (these are purchased separately by the parents/guardians from their preferred bookshop).

The following records are maintained:

  • book lists for each class group
  • invoices from book companies
  • duplicate receipts for fees paid by parents/guardians

Book stocks are updated in the following way:

  • Book Rental Co-ordinator attends book launches of the main publishers
  • Book Rental Co-ordinator organises book displays for staff
  • Facilitates ongoing discussions at staff meetings regarding new publications and purchases.

Whenever a change in the syllabus is proposed, adequate preparations are made to ensure that the new texts are purchased, covered and catalogued in advance.

In situations where books are lost or damaged, the Co-ordinator will inform the parents/guardians who are expected to pay the full replacement cost of the damaged book and the cover.

As books are returned to the Library after use, they are checked before replacing on to the shelves. Carefully organised structures and procedures ensure that all books are returned to the library at the end of the school year.

The books are collected, checked and catalogued. Damaged or lost books are replaced. Book stock quantities are reviewed to ensure that there is a sufficient stock of books for the new academic year.

In order to facilitate the smooth operation of the Book Rental Scheme, teachers are required to:

  • place books in ‘Return’ box in the library after use
  • report any loss or damage of books to the Co-ordinator
  • facilitate in the collection of funds for damaged / lost books
  • ensure that children keep books in the book boxes provided

7. Minimising Loss and Damage

Minimisation of the cost is critical to the sustainability of the scheme and the following measures are adopted to ensure this:

  • all books are covered in plastic covers/wallets
  • the books are carefully stored in the library and corridor shelves (when not in use by the children)

Such tasks are extremely important to the maintenance of the Rental Scheme as replacement costs are high. Since the Rental Scheme must be self-financing - and operating costs are constantly rising - every effort is made to ensure the best value is achieved and text book lives are maximised.

8. Ancillary Materials

Under the Book Rental Scheme we also have an extra store of curricular resources. These resources support all subject areas in the wider curriculum and are stored in cabinets and/or shelves in classrooms as well as in the library. These resources include a supply of text books, novels, workbooks, work programmes and photocopiable materials for use by the teachers and children as appropriate. All materials are stamped and labelled to help with the tracking, upkeep and maintenance of resources. We continually research new materials and resources to support the teaching and learning in all areas of the curriculum in St. Coen’s National School.

This policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 10/2/2022

It will be reviewed in 2024


Fr Donal Roche
Chairperson BOM

Lee Kavanagh

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the St. Coen’s N.S. Book Rental Scheme?

The St. Coen’s N.S. Book Rental Scheme means that the school will purchase all textbooks for the children, and parents pay a rental charge to the school each year for the use of these books. It also includes access to online textbooks and resources for use in the classroom. It does not include workbooks that the children write in. These must be purchased by parents separately.

Who owns the books?

The school remains the owner of all books at all times.

What is the cost and when do I have to pay?

The Book Rental Fee is currently €15 per year per child up to 1st class and €35 per year per child from 2nd class. (the cost will be capped at €100 per annum). This is a significantly cheaper figure than buying all of the school books that your child will require for the year. The Book Rental Fee will be charged in the month of June prior to the start of the school year in September. This is to allow enough time to purchase all books and resources required for the new school year, and is aimed at spreading costs for parents to avoid the big ‘September Spend’.

Please note that the annual Fee may increase but this Policy will be updated to state any possible changes and the reasons why.

Is there a Rental Deposit?

Yes. There is a once-off €30 deposit payable for each child when they join the school, to ensure the safe return of the books. This deposit will be used to replace lost/damaged books if necessary. It will carry forward from year to year. If part of the deposit has to be used to replace a lost/damaged book, the deposit must be restored to the full €30 prior to the next year. The deposit will be refunded when your child leaves St. Coen’s N.S.

What are the benefits to having a Book Rental Scheme?

There are many benefits for both parents/guardians and pupils. The scheme will greatly reduce the amount of money spent by parents/guardians each year on books.

  • Parents/guardians do not have to worry about buying all books.
  • All schoolbooks, excluding workbooks that the children write in, will be provided by the school on the first day of the year.
  • As the school is buying in bulk, there will be a significant discount on price.
  • All pupils will have access to a much wider range of textbooks, as the school will purchase additional class texts.
  • Teachers are not limited to covering all material in one book, but rather are free to choose the best and most appropriate material from a wide range of texts.
  • The back to school costs for parents are spread more evenly throughout the year.

Is there a Savings Scheme for parents to help pay the Rental Fee and/or Deposit?

Yes. Parents/guardians may opt to enrol their children in the school Savings Club. Collections take place each Friday morning.

Is the Book Rental Scheme for all pupils?

Yes. St. Coen’s N.S. operates the Book Rental Scheme for all pupils in the school. If a child were not to participate in the scheme, then parents/guardians would have to purchase all books that their child will use in class. This would be hugely costly for parents.

Will the school be buying new books each year?

  • The school will need to replace sub-standard/damaged books each year with new books.
  • The school will purchase additional books annually to provide a wider range of resources for our pupils.

How much is charged if a book is damaged or lost?

A certain amount of acceptable wear and tear is accepted. However, if a book is damaged and deemed unsuitable to remain in the Book Rental Scheme, that book will have to be replaced by the parent/guardian. Furthermore, any lost books will have to be replaced. We will not be able to provide photocopies of the book. Any books that have been lost or damaged must be replaced by the parent within five days.

What happens if I cannot pay the Fee in one go?

If you wish to pay the fee in instalments, please let us know and we will be glad to accommodate you. However, you must let the principal know as soon as possible otherwise books/resources/materials may not be ordered for your child so you may not be included in the Book Rental Scheme for the following year and we will not be able to provide photocopies.

What happens if I do not pay the Fee?

If you do not pay the fee by the given date in June, your child will not have any books ordered for September and will have not be given any books/resources/materials on the first day of the new school year. We will not be able to provide photocopies.

What happens if I don’t want to take part in this Scheme?

As we will only ever have enough books/resources/materials for children whose parents/guardians sign up to this Scheme, if you choose not to take part then you will have to buy all of the books/resources/materials your child will need yourself. We are not able to provide photocopies.

What happens if my child leaves a book/books at home/in a friend or family member’s home/after school?

If you are taking part in the Scheme, then this will be handled with sensitivity by the teacher – just get the book/books back as soon as possible and we will provide any necessary photocopies. However, if we do not hear from you and if the book or books are still missing after five working days, it/they will have to be replaced, either from the deposit or by the parent/guardian, whichever is applicable.