West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Féin supports retention of Education Maintenance Allowance

Published: 21 November, 2012

Sinn Féin MLA Barry McElduff has said today that the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) must be maintained if we are to encourage people to stay on in education. Mr. McElduff, who is a member of the Assembly's statutory Committee for Employment and Learning stated, "Many young people make a decision to leave education prematurely due to financial concerns. The introduction of the EMA was designed to give young students the option of staying on in education and removing financial barriers in their way of doing this. "Today's demonstration in Belfast highlights the level of feeling amongst students who are afraid of losing this allowance which offers them a form of independence. "Sinn Féin supports the retention of EMA but we are concerned that the five options that were put out in the recent consultation will not meet the needs of many students who currently avail of the allowance. "Sinn Féin will continue to work with students and their representative bodies in order to find a formula that will increase the numbers of students staying on longer at school."