Young people who are of compulsory school age when taking up further education are not eligible for education maintenance allowance (EMA) on the grounds of their age. EMA is not based on the academic level a pupil reaches. It is targeted at those who reach the end of their compulsory school phase and who have the option of dropping out of learning.
The purpose of EMA is to remove barriers to learning, and increase participation and retention rates among learners who can legally leave education. Therefore, EMA is not available to learners who by law must remain in education.
The forecast expenditure for education maintenance allowance over the comprehensive spending review (CSR) period is £531 million/£544 million/£560 million in financial years 2008-09/2009-10/2010-11. Forecasts of expenditure beyond this period are not available.