Allowances find favour in colleges

Tes Editorial

Most councils and colleges approve of the way the Scottish Executive has handled the pound;49 million educational maintenance allowance (EMA) scheme. But many want longer-term funding to address long-term problems.

An Audit Scotland analysis of key government projects reveals that the EMA scheme, to be fully introduced across Scotland over the next two years, has been generally well managed.

Research from the Scottish pilots shows that offering 16-19s from poor families incentives of up to pound;30 a week encourages them to stay on at school or college, a team from Edinburgh University stated last year.

Audit Scotland, the financial watchdog, says that councils and colleges are generally positive about the process but some complain about bureaucracy and time taken to complete forms. Others are unhappy about rushing to spend money within a set time-scale, while some are critical of the three-year funding programme.

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