HC Deb 10 April 2002 vol 383 c156W
Mr. Stevenson

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when evaluation of education maintenance allowances will be completed; if resources for the continuation of EMAs will be included in her departmental budget for the future; and if she will make a statement. [46662]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

The evaluation of the EMA pilots will continue into 2003; but a rich seam of evaluation findings will become available during 2002. So far we have published a report on the effect of EMA on participation rates for the first of the two cohorts which the independent researchers are studying. This showed an increase in participation of five percentage points among the target group. During 2002 we expect to publish reports on the impact of EMA on drop out rates and end-of-course attainment for this first cohort. We also expect to publish the first reports on the second cohort of EMA recipients this year. We have always made clear that all of the EMA evaluation reports will he made public.

There is provision in our budgets to fund all young people who now receive an EMA until their entitlement expires. There is similar provision to fund new EMAs for young people in the pilot areas who begin post-compulsory education in September 2002. Wider decisions on the future of EMAs will be taken in the 2002 Spending Review.