Headlines: June 18th, 2007



New figures show the Education Maintenance Allowance is making young people less financially dependent on their parents. The research from the Learning and Skills Council shows that since the introduction of the Allowance across England in 2004, financial pressure on parents has reduced.

The new figures indicate that 55 per cent of young people who receive EMA payments say they are more financially independent than they were before they got it. Earlier research, which was carried out in December 2005, showed parents with children between 16 to 19 spent an average of 1,808 pounds a year – 34 pounds a week – on each child in that age group. Now that has fallen significantly to just 11 pounds and 50 pence a week for those teenagers receiving EMA.

The new study also shows that relationships between parents and teenagers have improved and more than a quarter of parents agree that they have had fewer arguments over money since their children started getting the EMA. A third of parents thought there had been improvements in their teenagers’ money management skills and a similar number said their children were more responsible as a result of getting the allowance.

The LSC is now urging more young people to apply for EMA payments in time for the new academic year beginning in September. Trevor Fellowes, Director of Learner Support at the LSC, said EMA had not only led to more young people staying on in learning but it had also made them more financially independent.