Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

What is EMA?

EMA is a weekly allowance payable fortnightly during term time (excluding all holidays) to all eligible young people aged over the statutory school leaving age who meet the criteria. The young person must be willing to adhere to an approved Learning Agreement at school.

The scheme will pay a maintenance allowance of £30 per week (dependant on individual circumstances) provided that the conditions of a learning agreement between the young person and the school are met.

How does it work?

  • EMA is paid directly to young people into their own bank account;
  • The EMA is a weekly allowance and is only paid for full weeks within term time up to a maximum of 42 weeks in any one academic year.
  • If a pupil goes on holiday during term time, they will not receive EMA whilst on holiday;
  • A pupil must have a current signed Learning Agreement with their school and keep to the conditions of that Learning Agreement.  This agreement will be sent out once the application is successful.

You may be entitled if you are within the age range stated below and your household income falls in one of the two categories below:

The income thresholds for the EMA programme, Academic year 2022/23 are as follows:

EMA Income Thresholds
Income Number of Dependent Children in Household Award
Less than £24,421 1 £30
Less than £26,884 2+ £30

You may be entitled to Education Maintenance Allowance, if you were born between 1 March 2003 and 30 September 2006.

If you were born between 1 March 2003 and 30 September 2006 (summer intake), you may be eligible for an EMA from the beginning of the academic year.

If you were born between 1 October 2006 and 28 February 2007 (winter intake), you may be eligible for an EMA from January 2023.

If you submit your application by 30 September 2022, you will receive a full year award.

If you submit your application after that date, Education Maintenance Allowance will be paid to you from the week when the application was received. 

The cut-off date for submitting this year's applications is 31 March 2023

Your application cannot be processed without the necessary supporting documentation.

Please ensure you attach any supporting documentation with the form or email them to

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