Maintenance rules stay unchanged

5th November 2004 at 00:00
The Scottish Executive has refused to change the rules governing eligibility for the education maintenance allowance (EMA). The cut-off point to qualify for support is a family income of less than pound;30,000 a year.

The scheme, intended to persuade more 16-19s to stay on in full-time education either in school or at college, will leave some youngsters outwith its scope. John Swinney, the former SNP leader, wanted the Executive to change the rules.

But in a parliamentary written answer, Allan Wilson, Deputy Lifelong Learning Minister, told Mr Swinney: "Although extending eligibility would benefit a small group of students this year, it would immediately create further costs and anomalies in the staged roll-out which would be difficult to justify.

"It is inevitable, when any new scheme is rolled out, that some will fall on the wrong side of the qualifying date. While I recognise their disappointment, we considered it fairer to adhere to eligibility criteria for which there is a rational basis in terms of the policy objectives of this scheme."

The Executive is gradually extending EMAs, with support of pound;16 million this year increasing to pound;42 million by 2008.

It is estimated the scheme will eventually benefit 40,000 young people.

Depending on income, those accepted for allowances will be entitled to weekly payments of pound;10, pound;20 and pound;30.

Strict regulations set out in learning agreements contract those taking part to continue in full-time education with 100 per cent attendance. The allowance is only paid in term time.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now