As principal of the South East's most populous boys' high school, I feel compelled to write to you regarding the allocation of the 16-19 bursary fund that "replaces" the education maintenance allowance (EMA).
There are 240 students starting sixth-form courses with us in September. We estimate that 91 of the cohort would formerly have received the EMA but do not fall into the nominated most vulnerable groups, as defined by the Young People's Learning Agency.
After meeting guaranteed payments to the most vulnerable, I have about #163;6,000 to distribute in "discretionary bursaries". Divided by 91 students and then by 38 weeks, #163;6,000 amounts to the princely sum of #163;1.73 per student for each week attended. Form an orderly queue, boys.
PG Morris, Principal, The Howard School, Rainham, Kent.