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Education Maintenance Allowances 2014-15

Published: 23 Mar 2016 09:30
Part of:

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Statistics on school pupils and college students supported under the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) programme were published today by Scotland's Chief Statistician. EMAs provide financial support for 16 to 19 year olds from low-income households to overcome financial barriers to participate in appropriate school or college courses or an Activity Agreement. These statistics relate to the 2014-15 academic year.

Key findings include:

  • 32,395 school pupils and college students received EMA payments in Scotland in the academic year 2014-15, a decrease of 7% (2,560) from 34,955 in 2013-14.
  • School pupils account for 70% of young people in receipt of EMA payment, with the remaining 30% being college students.
  • Of all 16-19 year old school pupils in Scotland, 31% (22,530) received EMA payments in 2014-15. Of all full time 16-19 year old college students, 20% (9,865) received at least one EMA payment in 2014-15.
  • The proportion of EMA recipients living in Scotland's 20% most deprived areas in 2014-15 was the highest on record at 35% (11,185), although the actual number of recipients decreased by 690 from 11,875 in 2013-14. Among school pupils receiving EMAs, 33% were living in the 20% most deprived areas, while among college students receiving EMAs, 37% were living in the 20% most deprived areas.
  • The total amount spent on EMA payments in 2014-15 was £25.9 million, a decrease of £2.4 million from £28.2 million in 2013-14. Of this, £18.6 million (72%) was paid out to school pupils, and the remaining £7.3 million (28%) was paid out to young people attending college.

Notes to editors

This is a National Statistics publication. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the National Statistics Code of Practice. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.

The full National Statistics publication can be accessed at:

Additional information on Education Maintenance Allowances in Scotland can be found at: