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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-11543: Iain Gray (East Lothian)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 26 September 2017

To ask the Scottish Government, other than the support that it gives to the Student Awards Agency Scotland, what non-repayable student funding schemes its provides funding for, broken down by (a) which body receives this, (b) who administers the support given to students and (c) how much it provided in the most recent available year.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 20 October 2017

The most recently available statistics show that the total amount spent on EMA payments in 2014-15 was £26.5 million.

The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) programme is administered by local authorities and the SFC on behalf of the Scottish Government. EMA aims to provide financial support to 16 to 19 year-olds from low-income households who are attending non-advanced education in school, college or Activity Agreement. It is also available to those who are home-educated. The funds are paid directly into the bank account of the young person at a rate of £30 a week paid fortnightly in arrears.

For academic year 2017-18, £107,789,744 has been allocated to the student support budget by the SFC and can be used for student maintenance for living costs, childcare costs, travel costs, study equipment, additional support costs for disabled students, and additional discretionary payments to students experiencing hardship.

Providing student support funding for students in Further Education (FE), is a function of the Scottish Funding Council (SFC). The SFC sets the student support budget from within its overall funding allocation, distributing it to colleges who are then responsible for administering this funding to their students.