Highland's young people encouraged to apply without delay for Education Maintenance Allowance

All eligible young people are being encouraged to apply for a weekly, term time allowance of £30 per week from August.

The Highland Council administers Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) in respect of eligible young people from across its 29 secondary schools.  Colleges administer this scheme for their students.

This Allowance provides an incentive for young people aged 16-19 from lower income families to continue with their post-16 education, either in school or college. Eligibility for the scheme is based upon the total taxable household income for 2019/20: 

  • up to £24,421 taxable income for households with 1 dependant child
  • up to £26,884 taxable income for households with 2 or more dependant children.

Sheila McKandie, The Highland Council’s Interim Head of Revenues and Customer Services said: “Last year, around 750 young people across our secondary schools benefited from a total of £700,000 from this Allowance and we know from supporting our young people that this helped them to continue with their school education.

“This weekly term time allowance is paid directly into the young person’s bank account and does not affect the child benefit or other benefits being paid to their parents or carers. Applications are now being accepted for the 2020/21 academic year from Highland school pupils in post-16 education.”

She added: “I am encouraging all young people from across the Highland Council area who are eligible to apply, to do so as quickly as possible.  This will ensure they do not miss out on £30.00 every week, during each of the school terms, from August. Particularly at this time, when many families are experiencing such significant income shocks, we are working hard to raise awareness about the financial support that is available.”

Further information about Education Maintenance Allowance, including full eligibility criteria, is available on the Highland Council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/ema

The Council’s Welfare Support Team can complete the online application form with the young person and in the wider context, can support all eligible households to apply for benefits and other entitlements. The Welfare Support Team can be contacted by telephoning 0800 090 1004 or emailing welfare.support@highland.gov.uk

Chairman of the Education Committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: “Year on year, many of our young people benefit from this payment as it puts money in their pockets and supports their access to education and whatever learning pathways they wish to choose. My advice would be that our Welfare Support Team is on hand to help with the application process, so please don’t miss out.”

5 Jun 2020