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Education Maintenance Allowance

Volume 456: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the impact of educational maintenance allowances on the number of young people staying in full-time education beyond 16 years. (118835)

[holding answer 5 February 2007]: Recent national participation figures1 for the number of 16-year-olds in full-time education show an increase of 4.5 percentage points over the past two years. Whilst it is not possible to say that all of the increase was due to education maintenance allowance, this was one of the most important initiatives aimed at increasing participation.

EMA has been particularly effective in engaging some of our most vulnerable young people such as teenage parents and those who for no fault of their own are estranged from their families. EMA has its biggest impact where it is most needed—among those from less well off households, those from an ethnic minority background and among boys, closing the gender gap.

1 SFR (June 2006), Participation in Education, Training & Employment by 16-18 Year Olds in England 2004 and 2005 DfES, SFR 21/2006.