EMA Replacement not Sustainable to Help Young and Poor Students, says Perspective

Published on Tuesday, 06 March 2012 12:02
Posted by Scott Buckler

UK-based student management system provider Perspective believes that the latest report into the failings of the government’s new Bursary Funding programme for young, poorer students illustrates that the government has made a mistake in removing the Educational Maintenance Allowance

The report, conducted by Barnardos, found that lower levels of money and a lack of access to such funds are leaving many of the poorer students with no choice but to drop out. The report, which studied a number of different disadvantaged youngsters and the colleges they attend, found that the reduction in funding and confusion on which students are eligible for such a scheme left many with little option than to drop out.

A Department of Education spokesman claimed the EMA was wastefully targeted, with some “45 percent of all 16 to 19-year-olds receiving payments”.
However, a spokesperson for the National Union of Students claimed, “the government rushed to replace [the EMA] without any proper planning and woefully inadequate funding.”

The government’s £180 million replacement Bursary Fund is specifically targeted at young people who are in care, leaving care or are on income support, with the majority of this fund being included into a discretionary fund run by colleges. On the other hand, the EMA offered a payment of up to £30 per week for students living in a household with an annual income under £30,000.

Paul Davis, managing director of learning management software provider Perspective, commented: “At a time when youth unemployment is reaching record levels the government should be doing more to encourage learners to remain in education and further their prospects of finding work once they have finished their studies.

“Through such poor funding management the likelihood is that youth unemployment will only continue to increase as the number of poorer students dropping out rises.”


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