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Education Maintenance Allowance

Volume 518: debated on Monday 15 November 2010

16. What assessment he has made of the effect on the number of young people in the north-west who remain in further education of his decision to end education maintenance allowance. (23535)

Where young people in the north-west are facing financial barriers to participation, schools and colleges will be able to agree whether they should benefit from the enhanced learner support, which will enable closer targeting of resources to individual student need.

I thank the Minister for that reply. The pupil premium is supposed to help the poorest children to succeed in education. How does that sit with the decision to abolish the education maintenance allowance, which currently supports 3,000 young people in Salford to stay on at 16? Is it a case of confused policy making, or is it really a matter of robbing Peter to pay Paul?

The right hon. Lady will know that the evidence that I described in answer to an earlier question is clear about the ineffectiveness of EMA. That is supported by a letter that I received recently from north-west England from a teacher with 12 years’ experience in her area who said:

“I would like you to withdraw EMA”

because it is just not effective. We act on the basis of evidence.