Renfrewshire Council

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Do you want to stay in education after 16 but are worried about money?

You may be able to get £30 a week Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) if you are aged 16-19 and staying on in full time education.

What is an EMA?

An Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a weekly payment of £30, paid directly to young people who continue in full-time education after they reach the statutory leaving age.

Who is entitled to an EMA?

For academic year 2017-18, all eligible young people aged 16 to 19 years old who plan to continue their education in school from August 2017 can apply as long as the following criteria is met:

  • You must attend a school in the Renfrewshire Council area,
  • Your household income falls within the approved income thresholds set by the Scottish Government,
  • Your course must involve at least 21 hours of guided learning per week
  • You must agree to and sign a valid Learning Agreement with your school

The following table sets out the point at which you potentially become eligible (age wise) for an EMA during the academic year 2017-2018:

Date of BirthReceive EMA From
Born between 1 March 1998 and 30 September 2001August 2017
Born between 1 October 2001 and 28 February 2002January 2018

How much will I get?

You will receive £30 a week as long as you fall into the income thresholds below and maintain 100% weekly attendance.  

The income thresholds for the EMA Programme, Academic Year 2017--2018 are as follows:

IncomeEMA Payment
£0 to £24,421 For families with more than one dependant child in the household.£30 a week
£0 to £26,884 For families with a single dependent child in the household.£30 a week

Under both sets of guidelines, your parent(s)/guardian(s) will need to provide evidence of household income for the period April 2016 to April 2017.

How long can I get an EMA for?

You can get an EMA for up to three years. 'Vulnerable' young people may receive support for up to three years within a four-year period. You have to make a new application each year.

How do you assess my household income?

We look at the income of adults in your home who have a caring or parental responsibility for you. In most cases this will be your parent or parents, but could be grandparents or another family member. We assess your income using your parents/carers Final Tax Credit Award Notice (TCAN) or your parent/carers P60 details for 2016/2017.

Will EMA affect my family's / my benefits?

EMA is paid in addition to other support and benefits provided by the Government. Your family won't lose out on other money if you get an EMA.

  • It will not affect your parent's Child Benefit.
  • It won't affect any money you earn from a part-time job either.

What do I need to do to get my EMA for 2017/18

Application packs can be obtained from all Renfrewshire Secondary schools, the Customer Service Centre, Paisley or the Customer Service points located in Johnstone and Renfrew.  

EMA 2017-18 Application Form, Guidance and Student Quick Reference Guide is available to download from the related documents section.

You may send your completed application form along with required evidence to the address below, or you can come along in person to the Customer Service Centre Paisley, or the Customer Service Points in Johnstone and Renfrew.  

How will my EMA be paid?

  • The EMA will be paid fortnightly, 2 weeks in arrears.
  • The EMA will be paid directly into the students bank account. If they do not have a bank or building society account they will need to open one. This account must be one that accepts BACS payments (please check with your bank if you are unsure).
  • The EMA will not be paid during school holidays and will only be paid for weeks in attendance at school.

Does my performance at school affect my EMA?

Yes, payment can be withheld without warning based on the following:

  • If attendance falls below 100% in any one week.
  • Lateness can also affect payments.
  • If Learning Agreement conditions are not met.

 

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