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EDUCATION MAINTENANCE ALLOWANCES PROVE SUCCESSFUL

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Education and employment secretary David Blunkett today announced that five percentage points more 16 and 17 year o...
Education and employment secretary David Blunkett today announced that five percentage points more 16 and 17 year olds in the education maintenance allowance (EMA) pilot areas are staying in education because of the allowances. An independent evaluation published today of the first year of EMA pilots in 15 urban and rural areas showed that they are having a positive effect on raising the aspirations of
young people to enter FE and to stay committed to their courses.
Mr Blunkett said: 'These first results from the EMA pilots are very promising indeed. Across all the pilot areas the participation gains lie in the range of 3 to 11 percentage points, with apparently greater benefits in the rural areas. In the rural pilot area more young males eligible for an EMA stayed in education than in the two comparable rural areas without EMAs.
'This is a very significant step change in perceptions about education. Parents, young people and LEAs in the pilot areas had a positive attitude towards the EMAs. There is also evidence that the 'something for something' approach that underpins them is having a positive effect in encouraging extra effort on the part of students. We are now testing EMAs across a third of the country and I expect to
see a real improvement in terms of exam results in these areas.'
NOTES
This notice applies to England.
1. The DfEE began to pilot EMAs from September 1999 and a further 41 areas were added in September 2000. They offer young people staying on in full-time education after Year 11 the security of a weekly income of up to£40 per week, depending on their parents' income. Students are eligible for an EMA if their parents' income is less than£30,000.
2. The EMA provides an incentive to continue in learning and to take it seriously. It is a something for something measure. The young person and where appropriate, his or her parents, must sign a Learning Agreement with the education provider to be eligible for an EMA.
This sets out the aims and standards of their study programme, including attendance requirements. EMAs provide a real incentive for young people to succeed as the weekly payments are supplemented by end of term and end of course bonuses. EMAs are being piloted in some of the most deprived areas of the country. The aim is to make the most difference, but also to find out what works.
3. The evaluation commenced in September 1999 in 15 pilot areas and 11 control areas. It is being undertaken by a consortium of four organisations, headed up by the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) at Loughborough University.
4. The reports published today are:
Implementation of the Education Maintenance Allowance Pilots: The First Year - Malcolm Maguire, Sue Maguire and Jill Vincent;
Staying on or Staying Away? A Qualitative Evaluation of the Education Maintenance Allowance - Robin Legard, Kandy Woodfield and Clarissa White.
Education Maintenance Allowance: The First Year. A Quantitative Evaluation - Karl Ashworth, Jay Hardman, Woon-Chia Liu, Sue Maguire, Sue Middleton, Lorraine Dearden, Carl Emmerson, Christine Frayne, Alissa Goodman, Hidehiko Ichimura and Costas Meghir.
They can be found on the DfEE websiteor from DfEE Publications, PO Box 5050, Sherwood Park, Annesley, Nottingham, NG15 0DJ.
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