§ Dr. Starkey
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his announcement on 30 March of an extension of Education Maintenance Allowance to further areas, on what criteria these areas were chosen; and what are the staying-on rates(a) in each of these areas and (b) as a national average. 
§ Mr. Wicks
Following promising early evidence from the existing pilots, we have decided to extend the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) to a further 40 areas. These have been chosen as being representative and because they have relatively low post-16 participation, low GCSE attainment and high deprivation. The choice of areas also includes some additional rural areas where we will be concentrating on transport costs. For this, four areas have been chosen on the basis of the representative nature of their existing support for transport.
The following table shows the average staying on rates for 16-year-olds from 1995–98, and the national average for the same period:
Region New EMA areas Staying on rates of 16 year olds 1995–98 Merseyside Liverpool 61.67 Knowsley 52.45 Halton 71.87 Wirral 69.69 St. Helens 73.98 West Midlands Sandwell 53.85 Birmingham 67.73 Coventry 66.29 Wolverhampton 63.67 Worcestershire 0.74 Yorks and Humber Kingston upon Hull 58.40 Bradford 61.97 Sheffield 56.23 Barnsley 52.09 Wakefield 66.87 North East Lincolnshire 62.96 London Newham 67.42 Hackney 68.96 Tower Hamlets 68.96 Haringey 67.72 Islington 68.96 Camden 68.96 Hammersmith and Fulham 68.96 Brent 73.08 Waltham Forest 78.75 Ealing 70.02 Barking and Dagenham 66.11 Wandsworth 68.96
Region New EMA areas Staying on rates of 16 year olds 1995–98 North East Sunderland 53.38 South Tyneside 53.63 Hartlepool 63.52 North Tyneside 67.50 Northumberland 67.17 North West Salford 48.95 Manchester 61.36 Wigan 58.78 Tameside 60.78 South East Luton 69.68 East Midlands Leicester City 70.97 Eastern Suffolk 71.02 National average 70.51