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Eligible Highland teenagers urged to apply for weekly £30 Education Maintenance Allowance; Incentive for pupils from lower income families to continue education flagged by Highland Council

By Hector MacKenzie

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

Highland Council administers Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for eligible young people from across its 29 secondary schools.

Colleges administer this scheme for their students.

During 2020/21, around 725 young people across Highland secondary schools benefited from a total of £720,000 from this allowance, which 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 2020/21:

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.

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 2021/22 academic year from Highland school pupils in post-16 education.

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

Chair of the education committee, Cllr John Finlayson said: “Every year, many of our young people benefit from this payment as it puts money in their pockets and supports their access to education and learning pathways. 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 every week, during each of the school terms, from August.”

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

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