We have some really bright and articulate students in Great Yarmouth and whenever I visit the local secondary schools or colleges, I always get a serious grilling on a range of topics. Last autumn, many wrote or visited me to discuss the changes to the Educational Maintenance Allowance as a result of the government’s spending review. They were all passionate advocates for their cause, putting across their case for retaining the current system.
At the time, the Government promised that a new system would be set up that helped the most disadvantaged students stay in education to aged 18. That new system looks set to receive a £70 million boost next week, as ministers announce they will commit £180 million to the scheme. The majority of the money will go to colleges, to award to individual students. The rest will go in automatic payments to students with special needs such as the disabled. This is a better allocation of the limited resources, directing help to the students that need financial support to stay in education. It’s another example of the Coalition Government listening to opinion, and if appropriate refining policy, instead of sticking to the dogmatic approach of the previous government.
27th March 2011