Wednesday 22 August 2018 / 7:10 AM Angela Rayner / Education

“Bring back EMA” demands Labour as more than 17,000 disadvantaged young people fail to complete their studies

Labour has called on the Government to reintroduce EMA for 16 – 18 year olds in further education.

  • Labour analysis of Department for Education statistics shows that 17,864 disadvantaged 16 to 18 year olds failed to complete their main study programme in 2017.
  • Last year there were 132,208 disadvantaged young people in education, but retention of these students was only 86.49 per cent; this is well below 92.63 per cent for non-disadvantaged young people in education.
  • Since the Government’s decision to scrap EMA in 2010 these disadvantaged students, who are likely to have received the full £30 a week, missed out on up to £1,080 worth of support last year.
  • Education Maintenance Allowance was proven to support retention in education.
  • The Government replaced EMA with the 16–19 bursary scheme, funding for which is less than one-third of the value of previous spending on the EMA, which stood at £550 million in 2010–11.
  • Figures from the Department for Education show that proportion of 16-year-olds that are NEET has risen for the first time since the end of 2011.

Angela Rayner MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:

“These figures show that the Government is failing to help the most disadvantaged students to access and achieve in education.

“The Tories were told at the time that scrapping EMA was a mistake and eight years on students are still suffering as a result.

“Through our National Education Service Labour will bring back EMA and ensure that further education is available for the many, not the few”.