A LOCAL college is to introduce its own version of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) to help students from low income households. The EMA, brought in by the Labour Government in 2004, paid up to £30 a week to young people, to help them with their studies. More than 3,000 16 to 18-year-olds in Barnsley were receiving the payment before it was scrapped last year.

Barnsley MP John Healey says Dearne Valley Colleges announcement that it will pay all full-time students and apprentices £10 a week to help with costs and encourage good attendance is brilliant news.

He said: “The EMA has been a lifeline for young people, helping them to stay on and succeed in education. “Since it was got rid of, in areas like ours fewer young people are going to college and attendance and completion rates have suffered, while youth unemployment has tripled. “I am pleased that our local college is willing to step in and support students where the Government has refused to do so.”

What do you think to the plan? Did you value EMA or do you agree with it being scrapped?