Education Maintenance Allowances: The Impact on Further Education. FEDA Reports.Report as inadecuate

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In September 1999, a pilot program of Education Maintenance Allowances (EMAs) was introduced in 15 local education authorities (LEAs) in England to provide payments to students aged 16-19 who are from low-income families and who are attending full-time courses in schools and colleges. Participants are entitled to 2 years' support and must be following a full-time course. The program requires that participating students, parents, and colleges sign learning contracts detailing students' learning program, agreed learning goals, and homework and attendance requirements. The pilot program has revealed several issues associated with EMA planning, monitoring, and program design; student support; and transition. The experience of the first stage of the pilot program indicates that early involvement with LEAs in planning the arrangements for EMAs in an area will be vital. Although EMA recipients have generally accepted the tough monitoring of their adherence to their learning contract, the need to report unauthorized absences has created problems for college systems. EMAs appear to have increased low-income youths' participation in postcompulsory education. Four of the new EMA pilots will focus on home-to-college transport. Other issues identified include the need for colleges to publicize the program better and assist students with applications. (MN)

Descriptors: Academic Persistence, Accountability, College Programs, Economically Disadvantaged, Educational Attainment, Evaluation Methods, Foreign Countries, Participation, Performance Contracts, Pilot Projects, Postsecondary Education, Program Effectiveness, Program Evaluation, Student Financial Aid

Further Education Development Agency, Citadel Place, Tinworth Street, London SE11 5EH, United Kingdom. Tel: 020-7840-5302; Fax: 020-7840-5401; e-mail: publications[at] For full text:

Author: Fletcher, Mick


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