Are you eligible for an Education Maintenance Allowance

Are you aged between 16 and 19 and considering remaining in education? If so, you may be entitled to an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA). This also applies if you are in Home Education.

If you are aged between 16 and 19 and have left school but are not currently involved in education, employment, training or volunteering, you may be able to take part in an Activity Agreement.

An EMA is a weekly payment of £30 paid directly to eligible young people who are continuing in post-compulsory education (i.e. beyond the age of 16) or have left school and are taking part in an Activity Agreement.

Who makes the EMA payment?

  • If you are still at school, the payment is made by East Lothian Council
  • If you are in Home Education, the payment is made by East Lothian Council
  • If you are taking part in an Activity Agreement, the payment is made by East Lothian Council
  • If you are at college, the payment is made by your college.

Who is entitled to an EMA?

Any young person aged between 16 and 19 who is 16 or older before 30 September 2021 and planning to continue in post-compulsory education or home education may be eligible for an EMA from the beginning of the school year.

Applicants aged 16 between 1 October 2021 and 28 February 2022 may be eligible to receive an EMA from January 2021.

There are certain nationality and residence requirements and the award is based on the household income. See guidance notes for further information.

If you are receiving education while living in a foster home or children's home, and are in care of the local authority or living independently, you are eligible for a £30 EMA award without having to provide evidence of household income.

Successful applicants must attend a school within the East Lothian Council area for a minimum of 21 guided learning hours per week and must complete, and adhere to, a Learning Agreement.

What is a Learning Agreement?

Your Learning Agreement sets out the course of your studies during the academic year. It also outlines the conditions you will need to meet (e.g. attendance, punctuality, conduct and achievement requirements).

If you don't comply with your Learning Agreement, East Lothian Council may stop your EMA payments.

If you are at school, your Learning Agreement must be signed by your parent or a responsible adult and by the school you are studying at.

For further information see the EMA Scotland website.