The number of sixth formers has risen by only 1% since the
introduction of the means-tested Education Maintenance Allowance,
statistics released by the Department for Education and Skills have
The EMA is a weekly payment of between £10 and £30
introduced to help with the day-to-day costs of staying on at
school or college. However, the proportion of 16- to18-year-olds in
full or part-time education at the end of last year was just
Meanwhile, the proportion of 16- to18-year-olds not in education,
employment or training actually grew from 9% to 10%. The figure for
those in education or training stood at 75.4% – still well short of
the government’s 2015 target of 90%.
“We’re moving in the right direction, but there’s
more to do,” a DfeS spokesperson admitted.
She said the department would continue its push to encourage
teenagers to stay in school through improved vocational education,
a greater focus on maths and English, and more flexibility in