IEPA Survey 2015

Total revenue in 2015 for IEPA publishers surveyed show an increase of 3.46% to €53.59m. This is the first increase in revenues since 2007 when market returns were €58.4m

The latest Department of Education statistics indicate a total of 898,930 primary and post-primary students in 2015. This demonstrates that on average, per student, per year, less than €60 is spent on new school books. This compares to the average of over €73 per student per year in 2007, a decline of almost 18%.

Independently compiled and analysed by BDO Chartered Accountants, the survey reveals the average annual spend on new school books per primary student in 2015 was €42.21. The average annual spend on new school books per post-primary student in 2015 was €82.27. Depending on the academic year involved, a larger financial investment in school books is required - for example, in year one and year five of post-primary school. (See explanatory note*)

Indicating little change in the e-textbook use, the revenue from this sector remains similar to 2014 at 2.4% of the market, or €1.279m. All current post-primary textbooks are now available as e-textbooks. Many IEPA publishers also provide a free ebook with the printed version.   The IEPA supports calls for a reduction in the 23% VAT rate on e-textbooks.

35 titles (1.3%) out of a total of 2,688 titles were revised in 2015. This represents almost 50% less than the previous year when 63 titles were revised. In keeping with tradition, more than half of these revisions were necessitated by curriculum change.

Less than one third of titles recorded a price increase of 2% or less so that the overall impact of price increases on textbook expenditure in the year was in the region of 0.6%.

54% of all textbooks were printed in Ireland in 2015.

This survey of 2015 figures was independently compiled and analysed by BDO Chartered Accountants in June/July 2016. Respondent IEPA member firms: An Gúm, CJ Fallon, The Educational Company of Ireland, Educate.ie, Folens, Forum Publications, Gill Education, Mentor Books and Prim-ed.

These Irish publishers produce 95% of the educational content being used in Irish schools, which is specifically written and produced for the primary and post-primary schools' curriculum and authored by experienced Irish teachers.

Explanatory note*

The cost of pens, copies, dictionaries, folders, notebooks and items like rulers, typex or markers are not included in this survey. These are separate items often wrongly added to new school textbook costs. So too are the cost of photocopying, second-hand books and other contributions for art, music and sport.

The net retail figures used in this survey also do not include the 20% retailer's margin, nor the discounts IEPA members give to assist the School Book Rental Scheme, or in direct sales to schools.

Further information: Cliodhna O’Donoghue, General Secretary, IEPA.

Email: Cliodhna.odonoghue@gmail.com Phone 086-2490813 www.iepa.ie