Over-16s may get cash for staying on

The one initiative Scottish ministers may cherry-pick is the extension of the educational maintenance allowance scheme to all local authorities. Gordon Brown revealed up to pound;1,500 a year will be given to 16 to 18-year-olds from low-income families who stay on at school. Pilots showed staying-on rates rose.

East Ayrshire began the Scottish pilot three years ago and it was extended in the past session to Glasgow, West Dunbartonshire and Dundee in a pound;21.6 million initiative that can pay families up to pound;40 a week.

Richard Barron, depute director of education in Glasgow, said: "It has been beneficial and more people have benefited and got more money than they would have from the previous bursary allowances." Schools were happy with it. Pupils make a commitment to attend regularly and study harder through a learning agreement.

Launching the scheme, Wendy Alexander, former Lifelong Learning Minister, said education was even more important as a passport to success in later life. A third of leavers still quit at 16.

A Scottish Executive spokesman said the scheme was currently being evaluated.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you