The Scottish Government’s Educational Maintenance Allowance has been hailed as a “huge success” after figures showed Renfrewshire households have received over £12 million since the scheme’s launch.
New statistics released this week by the Scottish Government show 875 students in Renfrewshire benefited from the allowance in academic year 2020/21.
That added up to a £725,000 windfall for young people across the county.
Across Scotland over 25,000 awards were made for the year, totalling over £22 million.
Since 2007 the EMA scheme has paid out over £356 million in payments to young people and their families, with Renfrewshire households receiving £12.5 million in that time.
A similar scheme in England was cancelled in 2010 by the then Tory – LibDem government, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have continued with the allowance, which pays £30 a week to eligible students aged 16 to 19 years old.
The figures were welcomed by Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP, Gavin Newlands.
“These latest figures from the Scottish Government show the direct financial help students across Renfrewshire and Scotland are receiving through the academic year.
“At a time when the cost of living crisis is hitting households harder than ever, the EMA provides crucial support to allow young people to stay in education and fulfil their full potential.
“The EMA is Scotland has been a huge success, in contrast to the actions of the Government down south who scrapped their equivalent over a decade ago.
“I would urge anyone in full time education who think they might qualify for the allowance to speak to their school or college after the holidays and make sure they’re getting the financial support they’re entitled to.”
More information on the Educational Maintenance Allowance is available at: www.mygov.scot/ema.