Education Maintenance Allowances: 2016-17

The Education Maintenance Allowances (EMA) programme aims to provide support for young people aged 16 to 19 from low income families to stay on in education.

Education Maintenance Allowances 2016-17

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published statistics on Education Maintenance Allowances ( EMA) in the academic year 2016-17. EMA provides financial support for young people from low-income households to overcome financial barriers to participate in appropriate school or college courses or an activity agreement. This release contains information on students in Scotland who received at least one payment under the EMA programme.

Summary of Key Findings

  • 31,675 school pupils, college students and individuals on activity agreements received EMA payments in Scotland in the academic year 2016-17, a slight decrease of 0.2% (-60) from 31,735 in 2015-16 ( Table 1).
  • School pupils account for 63.5% of young people in receipt of EMA payment, 32.2% being college students and the remaining 4.3% are young people on activity agreements.
  • Of all 16-19 year old school pupils in Scotland, 29% received EMA payments in 2016-17.
  • Of the potentially eligible full time 16-19 year old college students, 33% received EMA payments in 2016-17.
  • The proportion of EMA recipients living in Scotland's 20% most deprived areas in 2016-17 increased to 36.8% (11,615) ( Table 3). Among school pupils and those with an activity agreements receiving EMA, 34.9% (7,460) were living in the 20% most deprived areas, while 40.8% (4,155) of college students receiving EMA were living in the 20% most deprived areas.
  • The total amount spent on EMA payments in 2016-17 was £24.6 million, a decrease of £137,855 from £24.8 million in 2015-16. Of this, £17.3 million (70.1%) was paid out to school pupils and those with an activity agreement, and the remaining £7.4 million (29.9%) paid out to young people attending college ( Table 4).


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