SCHOOLS have been issued with new guidelines on the running of book rental schemes in a bid to cut costs.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has urged school authorities to introduce textbook rental projects in order to bring down costs for families.
It is hoped that the guidelines will convince both principals and parents' associations of the benefits of rolling out the schemes.
It is estimated that parents of some second-level students are paying up to €500 on school books.
Publishers have agreed not to issue new editions of school books for at least six years, following negotiations with the Department of Education.
Minister Quinn emphasised the benefits of the scheme for hard-hit parents who are struggling to cope with back-to-school costs.
"All of us who are parents know how expensive textbooks can be and what a burden it places on already hard-pressed families at the start of every school year," he said.