Response to Alan Milburn's comments on EMA
Release Date: 18 Oct 2012
Barnardo’s assistant director of policy Jonathan Rallings said,
Since the disastrous scrapping of the EMA, any additional money given to help the most disadvantaged students stay on in education is welcome.
Barnardo’s has uncovered evidence finding that as a result of the new system, young people are having to choose between having breakfast or paying their bus fare to college.
The brightest young people must have the opportunity to study for A levels and go on to university, but it is also imperative that the government ensures financial support to help students on vocational courses to stay in further education and improve their chances of climbing the employment ladder.
Notes to Editors
This statement applies to England only.
Barnardo’s report Staying the Course found that poor young people falling outside the criteria for the guaranteed bursary element of the scheme are at a greater disadvantage under the new EMA system. The report makes the following recommendations:
All young people who have previously been on free school meals should receive a bursary adequate to meet typical support needs in line with the Pupil Premium. The likely cost of our recommendations in total is not likely to exceed £250m which is £300m less than the EMA.
It is unclear what the Bursary actually costs to administer, therefore in the interests of transparency and efficiency, resource costs should be accurately accounted for by providers and presented for central audit.
The UK Government should remind local authorities of their duty to support accessible, affordable transport for people ‘of sixth form age’ by ensuring that all young people resident in their borough receive a subsidy towards the costs of travel to college.
Barnardo’s works with more than 200,000 children, young people and their families each year. Barnardo’s now runs more than 800 services across the UK.
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