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Education Maintenance Allowance (East Kilbride)

Education and Lifelong Learning – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:00 am on 23rd December 2010.

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Photo of Andy Kerr Andy Kerr Labour 11:00 am, 23rd December 2010

To ask the Scottish Executive how many people are in receipt of education maintenance allowance in East Kilbride. (S3O-12505)

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

In the academic year 2009-10, 620 people in East Kilbride were in receipt of education maintenance allowance.

Photo of Andy Kerr Andy Kerr Labour

I thank the minister for her answer and welcome her to her new role.

The guidance on changes to EMA that the Government issued to local authorities in the summer states:

"The removal of ... bonus payments will reduce expenditure but will not, in itself, bring expenditure into line with the available budget."

The Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning has already taken some £6 million out of the pockets of Scotland's poorest families by scrapping EMA bonus payments this year. Will the minister guarantee that EMA will remain in its current form and that no changes will be made in the future?

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

I think Mr Kerr will find that we have already given that guarantee. I would have thought that he would welcome the fact that, here in Scotland, we are protecting education maintenance allowance while it is being scrapped in England. The member for East Kilbride might also be interested to know that there has been a 6 per cent increase in the number of young people in his area who are benefiting from the allowance. I hope that he will join us in celebrating that fact.

Photo of Trish Godman Trish Godman Labour

The member who lodged question 5 is not here.