What impact has scrapping EMA had?
From BBC News: There were major protests earlier this year when the government voted to get rid of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in England.
Now the Association of Colleges (AoC) says nearly half of England’s colleges have taken on fewer students this term.
It claims the decision to scrap EMA is one of the main reasons, as some students are worried about the cost of getting to and from college.
The Education Maintenance Allowance allowed teenagers from poorer families to claim up to £30 a week to stay in education. It was supposed to cover transport, food and equipment costs.
Jeremy Rogers, Principal of Cadbury Sixth Form College in Birmingham, thinks scrapping the EMA was a huge mistake: “It’s had a devastating impact. About 300 young people who would have come to us, have not come to us.”
He accepts many may be studying or working elsewhere, but is worried that others may be doing nothing.
“We’ve contacted all of the students who applied but didn’t turn up to enrol, and we know that transport costs are having a major impact.”