1. Background information on Education Maintenance Allowances (EMAs)
1. The EMA programme aims to provide support for young people aged 16 to 19 from low income families to overcome financial barriers to stay on in post-16 education, either in school or on a further education college course.
2. The programme is an entitlement and demand led programme which is administered by local authorities and colleges on behalf of Scottish Ministers. A weekly payment of £30 is made to a young person and is subject to attendance and agreement of a learning plan. Additional information on Education Maintenance Allowance in Scotland can be found at: https://www.mygov.scot/ema/.
3. A summary of the policy changes which have occurred can be seen in the table below.
|Time of policy change||Description of policy|
|August 2004||EMA introduced across Scotland for 16 year olds, initially consisting of weekly payments of £10, £20, and £30 categories dependent on household income. Following satisfactory attendance and learning agreement completion, bonus payments of £150 each were payable in January and June.|
|Academic year 2005-06||Eligibility extended to all 17 year olds|
|Academic year 2006-07||Eligibility extended to all 18 year olds|
|Academic year 2007-08||Eligibility extended to all 19 year olds|
|Academic year 2009-10||£10 and £20 payments were removed, and income threshold for £30 payment was set to £20,351. Additional higher income threshold of £22,403 was introduced for families with more than one dependent child.|
|Academic year 2010-11||Bonus payments withdrawn from all recipients (new and existing)|
|January 2016||EMA programme extended to include part-time, non-advanced college courses. Income thresholds increased to £24,421 for families with one dependent child and £26,884 for families with more than one dependent child in the household.|
Email: Scott Dickie
Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House