Date lodged: 19 December 2016
To ask the Scottish Government how its Draft Budget will support its commitment to an enhanced Education Maintenance Allowance programme.
Answered by: John Swinney 20 December 2016
The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is an entitlement in Scotland. This means that any applicant who meets the eligibility criteria will be entitled to receive EMA support. The budget change will therefore not impact on those who are about to apply nor on those who currently receive EMA support. In the event the EMA budget is exceeded the Scottish Government will ensure the additional cost is met. The new EMA budget reflects the anticipated spend on EMA and ensures we make the best use of the resources available to support young people.
The Scottish Government is committed to the EMA programme, unlike in England where the programme has been abolished. We want young people to have a choice to stay on in learning and that is why we launched a national promotional campaign making young people aware of the support available.