Education Maintenance Allowance

Education Maintenance Allowances (EMAs)
The other report reviewed is the 1999 Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
In September 1999, the government introduced a pilot programme of Education Maintenance Allowances (EMAs) in 15 local authority areas.
This scheme involves payments to students aged 16–19 from low income families who are attending full-time courses in schools and colleges. The overall aim of the pilots is to see whether participation and achievement can be raised by a scheme that directly addresses the financial problems of potential learners.
On 30 March 2000, the Secretary of State announced a major extension of the scheme. A further 40 LEA areas were included in the pilot, with the result that some 30% of 16 year olds will be in a pilot area. Since the areas chosen are those where financial hardship is most widespread – mainly the inner cities and metropolitan areas – an even greater percentage of potential recipients are reached.
The scheme therefore has an impact upon most colleges in England and almost all of those in the major English conurbations.
Since the start of the pilot scheme, FEDA has been working with a group of colleges to help assess the impact upon learners and institutions.
Although it is too early to reach final conclusions on the impact of EMAs on achievement, the first cohort have not yet finished their first year there are nevertheless clear messages for colleges, and for the DfEE about the impact of the scheme.
Children who fail to get ‘good’ English and Maths GCSE will continue to study these subjects to 18.
High quality Maths and English GCSE alternatives will be identified.
Reform of league tables and funding rules to remove incentives that have ‘devalued’ vocational education.
The Government has accepted all of Professor Wolf’s recommendations.