EMA, Bursaries and Financial Support

Education Maintenance Allowance

Apply for EMA

The application process for 2020/21 is now open. Please use the link below to complete and submit your EMA application form.

EMA Application Form

EMA Learning Agreement

Download Terms & Conditions
Download Payments Dates – Schools & Activity Agreements – 2020/21

Eligibilty and FAQ

The household income of the young person will determine their eligibility for an EMA.

Who will be eligible for an EMA?

You may be eligible for an EMA if:

  • You were born between 1 March 2001 and 30 September 2004.
  • You were born between 1 October 2004 and 28 February 2005.

If you fall into one of the above categories and one of the categories below, you will be eligible for a weekly allowance of £30 (not paid during holiday periods):

  • If your household income is £24,421 or below
  • If you have more than one child and your household income is £26,884 or below; or
  • If you are living in a foster home or in the care of the local authority or a care leaver (no proof of income required).

Will an EMA affect my family or my own benefits?

An EMA is paid in addition to other support and benefits provided by the Government.  This will not affect any other benefits you receive.

It will not affect any money you earn from a part-time job either.

When should I apply?


You should apply for your EMA before 30th September for payments to be backdated to the start of the Summer Term, August 2020. If the application is submitted after 30th September, payments will only commence from the date the application is received.

For Christmas leavers, eligible for payment from January 2021, you should apply for your EMA by 28th February to receive payments backdated to the start of the Winter Term, January 2021. If the application is submitted after 28th February, payments will only commence from the date the application is received.


Please see the Bursary section to apply for an EMA while at College.

Activity Agreements

You should apply for your EMA as soon as you start your Activity Agreement. Payments will be backdated to the first date of engagement (within the current financial year).


What do I need to include with my application?

You should include the following:

  • Your Birth Certificate or Passport
  • Tax Credit Award Notice
  • Bank Statement

If you do not have a Tax Credit Award Notice then you would submit your P60, Tax Return for Self-employment or proof of your benefits.

Photocopies/scanned copies are acceptable.  However, Children’s Services reserve the right to see the original document on request.

Payment of your EMA

Payments are made fortnightly in arrears directly into the young person’s bank account depending on attendance and compliance with the requirements of their learning agreement.

No Payments will be made until you have returned your completed, signed Learning Agreement. Please note Learning Agreements must be returned within three weeks of date of Award Letter.

If you do not have a bank account, you will need to open one when you apply for your EMA.

Could my attendance at school or college affect my EMA payments?

Yes, payments can be withheld without warning if your attendance falls below 100%, unless your absences have been covered by a medical certificate or approved by your school or college.

A maximum of 5 days self-certified absences will be accepted in any one term. Self-certified absences would require a note from your parent/guardian.

Lateness can also affect payments.

How long will the award last?

The award will be for one academic year only and a new application must be submitted each year.