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COVID-19: latest update on how our services are affected and the support available

COVID-19: latest update on how our services are affected and the support available

Education maintenance allowance

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is administered by local authorities on behalf of the Scottish Government.

EMA is a weekly allowance of £30.

It provides financial assistance to help young people from low income households to stay on at school and continue their education


EMA's are available to young people aged between 16 and 19 years old who are attending full time school education. You may also be eligible for an EMA if you are on an Activity Agreement placement.  Anyone attending college should contact their college bursary office for further information.

If you were born between 1st March 2002 and 28th February 2006 you may be eligible for an EMA

16th birthday

Eligible from

Before 30th September 2021

23rd August 2021

Between 1st October 2021 & 28th February 2022

6th January 2022

You should apply by 30 September for the full year award (born between 1 March 2002 and 30 September 2005) and by 28 February (born between 1 October 2005 and 28 February 2006 for the half year award. If you do not submit your application by the dates indicated above, no back-dated payments will be made. In all circumstances back dated payments will not be considered for any previous term if the application process is not fully completed.

EMA's are assessed on:

  • gross taxable household income. For 2021/22 applications, household income will be assessed on gross taxable household income for the period April 2020 to March 2021



£0 - £24,421 (for households with 1 dependent child)

£30 per week

£0 - £26,884 (for households with 2 or more dependent children)

£30 per week

Dependent children are:

  • Children up to the age of 16
  • Young people aged between 16 and 25 in part or full-time non-advanced college education

If successful, you will require to complete and sign a Learning Agreement which details conditions that must be met in order to receive the EMA payments. These conditions include progress of course work, attendance and behaviour.

Young people may be eligible to receive a provisional award if a self-employed parent is temporarily unable to supply financial detail to support their application. Provisional awards will be monitored on an on-going basis.

Foster care payments for other children living in the household will be taken into consideration when assessing applications.

If you are receiving education whilst being looked after away from home or living independently in receipt of Income Support or contribution-based Employment Support Allowance, you are eligible for an EMA award without having to provide evidence of household income.

Apply now

Apply for Education Maintenance Allowance

If you do not have access to a P.C., laptop, phone or device, please contact EMA on 01292 616248 / 612237.

Contact us

If you require any advice or guidance regarding Education Maintenance Allowances please contact us at:

South Ayrshire Council
Education Support Services
County Buildings
Wellington Square
Tel: 01292 616248 or 01292 612237