A regular weekly payment of up to £30 made to young people over the age of compulsory education who go on to some form of further education or training. Introduced as a pilot scheme in a limited number of local authorities in 1998, the EMA was originally conceived as a means of encouraging 16‐year‐olds from low‐income families to stay on in education or training. After the initial three years of the scheme it was widely adopted. Payment is made directly into the student's bank account. Because payment of the allowance is contingent on the student's regular attendance, some teachers in further education have found it an effective source of motivation for students, although others claim that, while it encourages attendance, it does not necessarily improve students' motivation to engage with their learning when they are there.
An EMA was also launched in Scotland in August 2005, following a pilot phase, again in order to provide financial support to young people from low‐income families. EMA in Scotland functions in the same form as its English counterpart.
http://www.emascotland.com Has details of eligibility and of the results of Scottish pilots such as that in East Ayrshire in 2002.