§ Mr. Denis Murphy
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students in the(a) Wansbeck constituency and (b) County of Northumberland have received the education maintenance allowance. 
§ Margaret Hodge
The Department does not collect data on the number of students receiving the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for areas smaller than LEA size. The number of students in Northumberland receiving the EMA in each academic year, since the pilot began, is set out in the table.
The figures from 2002–03 are to the 27 December 2002 instead of the end of the academic year as with the 2000–2001 and 2001–2002 figures. As a result, these figures inevitably seem low compared to the other academic years. However, the number of students receiving EMA in December 2002 is also lower than the figure at the same time in the previous academic year. This is primarily due to the key member of the EMA team at Northumberland going on long term sick leave. In fact, the number of applications received in Northumberland is slightly up on the previous year's figures.
Academic year Number receiving EMA 2000–01 1,502 2001–02 12,595 2002–03 12,281 1Includes students who started courses in the previous year
2002–03 figures are to the 27 December 2002