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Faster cash promise

The Assembly government has promised a shake-up of the education maintenance allowance payment system after thousands of students faced delays. Last November, up to 7,500 students had not received the allowance, a cash grant of up to Pounds 30 per week to help students aged between 16 and 18 from low-income families carry on with their studies.

Last week, the education minister Jane Hutt announced that the Student Loans Company, which administers the allowance in Wales, would simplify some of its processes to clear applications more quickly. Opposition politicians and some teachers' unions said the "disaster" must never be repeated.

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