Young people are to be given financial incentives to stay in
education, the government has announced.
From September, students in England who continue with their
education after Year 11 could be entitled to weekly payments of up
to £30 in the form of Education Maintenance Allowance.
Young people from households with incomes of £30,000 or
less will be eligible for means-tested payments of between £10
and £30 a week, which will be paid directly into their bank
The government expects around 353,000 young people – over half
the 16 year old population – to be eligible for EMA in
2004/5. It anticipates that by 2006/7 an extra 72,000 young people
will be participating in further education every year.
The roll out of the initiative follows a successful pilot phase
involving 56 local education authorities. Evaluation of the pilots
by Loughborough University found that the staying on rate of 16
year olds from the lowest socio-economic group increased by around
10 per cent as a result of EMA.
However, education secretary Charles Clarke warned that EMA was
“not money for nothing”.
“The weekly payments depend on the young person being able
to demonstrate that they are committed to turning up and working
hard. If you stop learning, then you stop earning,” he
EMA application forms can be picked up from schools, sixth form
colleges or branches of Connexions.