Date lodged: 10 November 2016
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-03843 by John Swinney on 1 November 2016, what analysis it has carried out to ascertain the reason for the reduction in the number of (a) male and (b) female recipients of Education Maintenance Allowance over this period.
Answered by: John Swinney 22 November 2016
The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is an entitlement and a demand led programme. Any young person who has reached the age of 16 can apply and if they satisfy the eligibility criteria they will receive the award. We do not collect data on the number of school pupils or college students who could be eligible for EMA. The recent edition of the EMA statistical publication shows fluctuations in the number of EMA recipients over the years. There is likely to be several reasons why the number are fluctuating, including the numbers of young people at college and school. Changes to the number of recipients does not necessarily indicate the rate of uptake has decreased. Since piloting the programme in 2005 there has been changes to the EMA eligibility criteria. This has had an impact on the numbers of young people who are eligible to apply for the support, which makes it difficult to draw a direct comparison between each year of the programme.