Background to EMA
Initially, the EMA scheme consisted of both weekly payments and additional bonus payments to recipients. The weekly payments consisted of £10, £20 and £30 categories, dependent on the household income of the recipient. Following satisfactory attendance and completion of a learning agreement, additional bonus payments of £150 each were payable in January and June.
EMAs were introduced across Scotland from August 2004 for 16 year olds. In academic year 2005-06 eligibility was extended to include all 17 year olds and in academic year 2006-07 eligibility was further extended to include 18 year olds. Full roll out to 19 year olds was completed in 2007-08.
In 2009 changes were made to the EMA scheme in response to the Scottish Government's '16+ Learning Choices - First Step Activity and Financial Support' consultation. The £10 and £20 payments were removed and the income threshold for the £30 payment was aligned with that of the 'away from home' element of further education bursaries (£20,351). An additional, higher income threshold (£22,403) was also introduced for families with more than one dependent child. These changes were introduced for new entrants to the EMA scheme at the beginning of the academic year 2009-10 and are reflected in this publication.
In June 2010 the Scottish Government announced that as of the 2010-11 academic year, EMA bonus payments would be withdrawn from all recipients (both new and existing).
Email: Jeff Zinger