Education maintenance allowances are part of a pound;750 million package of support for FE students . Other schemes include: Learner Support Funds will pay for extra help with books and equipment, visits and field trips, and accommodation and transport costs.
Dance and drama awards of up to pound;3,500 help students study free at a specialist dramadance school. The means-tested awards pay tuition fees, living costs and course expenses.
Awards totalling pound;22m are available for students post-16 on dance courses and post-18 on acting or stage management courses. Around 1,600 students currently claim awards which they win through highly competitive auditions.
Career Development Loans are available to students post-18. They help fund vocational education for up to two years, with a further 12 months if the course includes practical work experience.
While studying, students make no repayments and the Learning and Skills Council pays the interest on the loan.
Care to Learn pays childcare and other costs of up to pound;145 a week to parents under 20. Around 4,700 are on the scheme, which costs about pound;22m. It is central to LSC efforts to tackle teenager pregnancy drop-outs.
Adult learning grants pay up to pound;35 a week to students under 30.
Currently being piloted in two regions (North-east and South-east), they will be available nationally from 2008. Participation rates have gone up 13 per cent in the regions and are most successful with late developers aged 18-21. Evidence from the pilots triggered the FE white paper decision to meet the full cost of A-levels up to 25.