Education Maintenance Allowance

Education written question – answered on 24th November 2010.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Labour, Stretford and Urmston

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate he has made of the number of individuals who are expected to (a) have their income reduced and (b) fall below the equivalised poverty threshold of 60 per cent. of median household income as a result of removal of education maintenance allowance; and what estimate he has made of the average amount by which the income of affected households will change as a result of this measure.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

The EMA take-up data for England show that around 650,000 young people received EMA during the 2010/11 academic year as at 31 August 2010.

From 2011/12 education maintenance allowances will be replaced by an enhanced learner support fund that will be administered by schools and colleges themselves, targeting those young people who face a real financial barrier to participation.

Estimates of the number and proportion of children living in poverty are published in the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. HBAI uses household income, adjusted (or 'equivalised') for household size and composition, to provide a proxy for standard of living. The data are sourced from the Family Resources Survey (FRS)(1 )which collects detailed financial information across a range of income streams including income from the education maintenance allowance. There are concerns as to the reliability of EMA data on the FRS with a small number of relevant cases and amounts received being, in some instances, inconsistent with the implied entitlement. Therefore estimates of the impact of the removal of EMA on child poverty rates should be treated with some caution. However, data from 2008/09 suggest that the removal of EMA will have a negligible impact on the number of children in poverty.

(1) Estimates from the Family Resources Survey are presented rounded to the nearest 100,000 households. If the figure is less than 50,000, this would be rounded down to zero, so instead such figures are presented as "less than 50,000" or "negligible".

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