HC Deb 08 November 1999 vol 337 cc433-4W
Mr. Willis

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what was the total amount top-sliced from the SSA discretionary awards budget to pay for the Educational Maintenance Allowance Pilots in 1999–2000. [97548]

Mr. Wicks

None. The Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) Pilots have been funded entirely from new money provided for this purpose. The transfer from local education authority discretionary awards is being used to contribute to the costs of the access funds and specific help for residential students and for childcare. These new arrangements will mean more spending on students than would have been the case had the discretionary awards scheme continued.

EMAs have the potential to make a real difference to young people's life chances. Early indications are that they are having a positive impact in the pilot areas.