Following peaceful protests by 60,000 young people and teachers yesterday, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Andy Burnham MP is hosting a select-committee seminar in Parliament tomorrow to discuss the Government’s decision to scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
Parliamentarians from all parties have been invited to hear from the young people most affected by the scrapping of EMA about the impact this will have. Leaders from the further education sector and parents will join the discussion.
The Government’s arguments for scrapping EMA have been completely discredited, with the Institute for Fiscal Studies saying that its costs are ‘more than recouped’. Over 600,000 young people receive EMA and around 90,000 of these would not be able to study without it. For the rest, EMA makes it more likely that they will complete their course and achieve their goals.
At a lifetime cost to the economy of over £50,000 for every young person not in education, employment or training (NEET), EMA represents good value for money.
Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“EMA is a lifeline for young people, sending them the message that success is possible, whatever their background. Alongside the trebling of tuition fees, this is a double betrayal from a Government that promised to keep EMA before the election. The IFS have confirmed that EMA is a bargain – an investment that we see returned over a lifetime. But instead of investing in our young people to help them get on in life, the Government has chosen to kick away the ladder.”