Getting quizzed on EMA by Joseph Priestly students

Last week I visited Morley’s Joseph Priestly College to hear students’ concerns about government plans to axe the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) which supports more than 9,000 students across Leeds to stay in further education or training.

Sally Blunt, Principle of Joseph Priestley College had written to me to express concern about the decision to axe EMA, which around 65% of students at the college receive.

I heard how receiving EMA has made a difference to the students and their achievement, and then answered questions from the hair, beauty and childcare students on the ending of EMA and the cost of attending college.

I want to see all young people staying on at school, going to college, getting an apprenticeship or doing some form of training while at work. That’s why we introduced EMA, and the students here are clear that it has made a big difference to the post-16 choices they are making.

Axing EMA could mean hundreds of students across Morley don’t get the chance to get the skills and qualifications they need to get a good job. I’ve spoken about this in Parliament, and will keep fighting to ensure that all young people can access quality training, regardless of their background.

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Posted March 15th, 2011 by Ed's team