Teen students next in line for government cuts

Students protesting

Students protesting

Students are once again set to protest, as the government make further education cuts.

The coalition are set to scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance, which was set up by labour in order to encourage young people from deprived backgrounds to continue in education after the age of 16.

The scheme reportedly costs £560m a year and the government want it scrapped.

Walkouts and protests are planned all over England today, in a bid to make to the government understand how important this allowance is.

“It’s money that I can’t do without,” said student Lorenzo Brown. “It’s for transport and for books and it’s vital for me, absolutely vital.”

It is predicted that if the allowance was taken away, many students would simply drop out of school. Dudley college in the West Midlands currently has 2,500 students, 80% of which are receiving EMA. Many of these are at the higher rate of £30 a week.

College principal Lowell Williams said “Our biggest fear is that young people will be forced into making the wrong choice at the age of 16,”

“It could be that they decide to stop attending college or they opt to take a job with no training. It’s a big, big worry for colleges up and down the country.”

It has been shown that EMA is highly successful in keeping students in colleges and also improving the level of education they receive.

George Owers, a university student who received the EMA when during his A-levels pointed out that “It means that you can spend more time studying and less time doing part-time jobs,”

However there are many pressure groups that are backing the government’s decision, calling the allowance “hugely expensive” and “wasteful”.

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