|Sadiq votes to save EMA|
|Monday, 24 January 2011 12:12|
Wandsworth MPs Jane Ellison and Justine Greening voted to scrap the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) this week – with only Sadiq Khan MP standing up for local students by voting to save the £30 a week lifeline that has helped thousands of young people from low income households stay in education.
The government has scrapped EMA, in the face of widespread opposition, and e evidence from the Institute for Fiscal Studies that shows the scheme pays for itself.
Over 2000 students in Wandsworth currently receive EMA, and over 1000 more had applied for funding by final deadline in December. All payments will stop at the end of the academic year this year, leaving thousands of students without funding halfway through their course.
EMA, which was introduced under the previous government, has helped thousands of pupils from low-income households pay the ever-increasing cost of transport and education materials so they can stay in education post-16. All available evidence shows that it has significantly reduced dropout rates, and that the improved productivity of students who have received the funding offsets the cost of the scheme.
Without this scheme, the government risks repeating the mistakes of the 1980s creating a generation of young people who are never able to reach their full potential.
Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting, who is a former governor of South Thames College, who voted to save the EMA in the House of Commons last week, said, “This is yet another broken promise from the Tory-led government, and yet another attack on young people.
“I’ve seen for myself the huge difference EMA has made to improve the life chances of local young people. EMA has been a success – reducing drop-out rates and helping a generation of young people on to raise their aspirations and go on to university.
“This policy works, saves the taxpayer money and helps the poorest students secure a better education. “
Sue Rimmer, the Principal of South Thames College, which has over 1600 students who receive EMA, said “We accept that these are difficult times financially but believe that financial support for the most disadvantaged young people continuing education and training is a valuable investment towards creating a sustainable future for us all.”
Educational Maintenance Allowances: the facts
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