Education Maintenance Allowance

Among the many terrible things being done in the UK in the name of austerity, one of the worst is the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance. This is a weekly payment (10 to 30 pounds) given to poorer 16 to 18 year olds to help them stay in school How much of a difference does it make?

Research out today suggests that seven in 10 poor teenagers would drop out of school if the EMA is abolished.

And almost two-fifths (38%) say they would not have started their course had they not received the grant…

Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, said: “The axing of the EMA is a vicious attack on young people, their families and communities.

“EMA is not pocket money, it is vital support to the poorest students and allows them to buy books and pay for travel to college. Without this support many young people will be forced to drop out, or rely on their families to step in. For many families already facing pay freezes and job cuts, this will simply not be possible.

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