Staying at school
If you wish to stay on at school after your school leaving date you may be eligible for an Education Maintenance Allowance ( EMA) which provides financial support to young people from low income households. This can be up to £30 a week during term time.
Income thresholds for 2007/08
Weekly amount during term time
£0 - £21,302
£21,303 - £26,116
£26,117 - £31,528
Two bonuses of £150 may also be available if you remain on your course and make good progress.
Here is an example of how an EMA might work:
Alasdair is staying on at school
In S4 Alasdair gained eight Standard grades including a Credit in Craft and Design. He is studying this subject in S5 at Higher level this year and hopes to gain four more passes at Intermediate 1 and 2 level to improve his qualifications.
As Alasdair's 16th birthday is in May and he is from a low income family he is eligible for EMA payments from when he starts his 5th year in August. He will be eligible for two bonus payments if he makes good progress in his course.
If his 16th birthday was after December his EMA payments would begin in January and he would only be eligible for one bonus payment if he makes good progress in his course.
Alasdair wants to start an apprenticeship in the construction industry, hopefully joinery, when he completes his studies. He knows that staying on at school will help him get the qualifications he needs to secure a place.
The Education Maintenance Allowance means that he is able to stay on and complete his S5 studies instead of having to find a job. The EMA paid to Alasdair will help him contribute to the household expenses as well as giving him a certain amount of financial independence and responsibility.
More information on EMAs is available from your school, college or local authority, and also from the websitewww.emascotland.com