Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman has reintroduced the Educational Maintenance Allowance for students from lower income backgrounds, a Blair policy that was scrapped by the coalition in 2010
Pupils from lower income backgrounds in one UK borough will receive a payment of up to £400 to stay in education after the age of 16.
The policy has been reintroduced by Labour mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman after it was scrapped in England by David Cameron’s coalition government in 2010.
Originally, the Educational Maintenance Allowance was introduced by Tony’s Blair government across the UK, and remains in place in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Now, Rahman has signed off on the reintroduction of the scheme in Tower Hamlets, with the payment being made to students between the ages of 16 and 19.
Mr Rahman said: “I am delighted to announce the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) and University Bursary Award schemes that will help minimise the financial challenges for young people pursuing further education.
“This financial support will help give young people the confidence and encouragement to continue their studies amid the cost-of-living crisis.
“Education is very close to my heart and supporting lifelong learning is a priority for my administration.
“It is vital that young people are supported to reach their full potential and given the tools and opportunities to become the future leaders of the next generation.”
Students must also be from a lower income background, with the payment being aimed at students from families which earn less than £25,000 a year.
The scheme will see some 1,250 students from Tower Hamlets eligible to receive the payment.
Tower Hamlets is one of the most deprived areas in the UK, and most of the pupils set to receive the payments in either year 12 or 13.
The EMA reintroduction is not the only financial support being introduced in Tower Hamlets, with a bursary of £1,500 also being introduced to support students with university expenses.
This is not the first time that Mr Rahman has reintroduced EMA in Tower Hamlets, but the previous reintroduction was binned after his 2014 election was ruled void.
Mr Rahman signed off on the grant on Monday, while calls have grown from the Labour Party for Keir Starmer to back re-introducing the policy across England.
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