Education Maintenance Allowance

My seventeen-year-old son is starting college this September and claims some of his older friends get paid an allowance from the government for continuing their studies. Do you know of any allowance available?

1st September 2008

He is probably referring to the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) - a Government scheme which financially incentivises students to stay in full time education. If your son turned 16, 17 or 18 in the school year up to August 31 2008, and is entering a full time further education course at a college or school, or taking an LSC funded Diploma or a course which leads to an Apprenticeship he can claim the allowance.

The amount payable depends on your familyís household income. The thresholds applicable for the forthcoming school year are based on income earned in the 2007/2008 tax year, and are:

  •  Household income up to £20,817 per annum receives £30 per week
  • Household income from £20,817- £25,521 per annum receives £20 per week
  • Household income from £24,851- £30,000 per annum receives £10 per week

If your household income exceeds £30,810 per year your son will not receive any weekly payment.

For more information visit  www.ema.direct.gov.uk  or speak to your local TaxAssist accountant.

By Jo Nockels

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