YOUNG PEOPLE FROM THE NORTH EAST FACE A "DOUBLE-WHAMMY" - CATHERINE MCKINNELL MP

Catherine McKinnellAs thousands of students march on Westminster, Labour has today hit out at government plans to halt the Educational Maintenance Allowance.

Education Maintenance Allowance supports learners from low income households to continue in learning. It is a weekly allowance of up to £30, payable to young people in the 16-19 age group who participate in a valid programme of Further Education or an apprenticeship.

 

In 2009/10, the EMA has helped over 39,000 16 to 19 year old students from low income families in the North East region.

 

The scheme was introduced by Labour in 2004 but was axed by Michael Gove in the Spending Review last month despite promises by David Cameron and Michael Gove before the election that the payments would be safe.

 

Independent research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown that the payments increased the number of students remaining in education who would not have done so without the financial incentive. The report also showed that students from “relatively disadvantaged areas did experience higher participation and attainment”.

 

Catherine McKinnell, Labour’s MP for Newcastle North said;

“The Education Maintenance Allowance has been shown to work. It encourages young people to stay on in education and get the skills they will need to succeed in the economy of the future. The removal of the EMA, taken together with the government’s proposals for a massive hike in Higher Education Tuition fees is a double-whammy for young people from this region, especially those from lower income households. These decisions will deter North East children from continuing in education.

 

“The Tories have gone back on their word on EMA whilst the Lib Dems have ripped up their promises on tuition fees. This government is demonstrating a complete lack of interest in the future of this region’s young people.”

 

Andy Burnham, Shadow Secretary of State for Education said:

“From the PM downwards, commitments were given that EMA was safe which have now been broken - another betrayal of young people.

 

“For those with the biggest challenges in life, EMA has been proven to boost attainment and help them succeed. The loss of EMA coupled with £9000 a year fees means that students from poorer families will be left thinking that post-16 education isn’t for them, meaning that thousands may fail to reach their full potential.”

 


ENDS

Notes to Editors:

 

1. In January David Cameron said that the Conservatives “don’t have any plans to get rid of [EMA payments]”, and in March Michael Gove responded to Labour claims that EMA would be scrapped by saying “I have never said this. We won’t.”

2. Education Maintanance Allowance (EMA) supports learners from low income households to continue in learning. It is a weekly allowance of up to £30, payable to young people in the 16-19 age group who particpate in a valid programme of Further Education or YPLA-funded Entry to Employment or Programme Led Apprenticeship.

3. EMA take-up by local authority area 2004/5 - 2009/10

AREA TYPE AREA NAME 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07  2007/08 2008/09 [1]  
2009/10
National England 297,258 429,627 527,319 546,472 576,144 642,748
  Unknown [1]         35,236 1,749
LSCRegion North East 19,409 25,755 32,528 33,803 34,934 39,102
LSC Tees Valley 4,978 7,384 9,627 9,603 9,884 11,144
LA Hartlepool 1,023 1,176 1,499 1,539 1,637 1,868
LA Middlesbrough 1,757 2,022 2,354 2,321 2,360 2,609
LA Redcar and Cleveland 759 1,453 1,981 1,950 2,090 2,245
LA Stockton-on-Tees 945 1,768 2,430 2,437 2,487 2,939
LA Darlington 494 965 1,363 1,356 1,310 1,483
LSC County Durham 2,449 4,484 6,005 6,373 6,656 7,507
LA Durham 2,449 4,484 6,005 6,373 6,656 7,507
LSC Northumberland 2,708 2,711 3,198 3,253 3,402 3,742
LA Northumberland 2,708 2,711 3,198 3,253 3,402 3,742
LSC Tyne & Wear 9,274 11,176 13,698 14,574 14,992 16,709
LA Gateshead 1,842 2,000 2,268 2,445 2,532 2,855
LA Newcastle-upon-Tyne 1,165 2,168 3,059 3,282 3,445 3,726
LA North Tyneside 1,676 1,857 2,284 2,429 2,507 2,775
LA South Tyneside 1,636 1,711 2,148 2,326 2,251 2,589
LA Sunderland 2,955 3,440 3,939 4,092 4,257 4,764