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One Statistic = EMA’s Demise

Another day, another research figure tweaked and/or misinterpreted…

So, the education select committee has stated that the decision to scrap the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) was perhaps a bit rushed!! Interestingly, a key statistic is again at the heart of this argument. The suggested 90% of students who would have studied anyway was Michael Gove’s main rationale for ditching the Allowance. The author of the original report has stated the figure was actually 88% and that this still means that 12% would not have been able to participate in broadening their horizons without the EMA – a figure which is still fairly substantial and not to be taken lightly when considering alternatives that will help ensure participation in further education  (The Guardian, 19th July 2011).

Another brick wall? (image courtesy of

MPs have highlighted that this rush has meant there has not been enough time for the replacement bursaries to be allocated through colleges, an issue which has meant that some young people have been unable to make a decision on where they will be studying, if at all, this coming September. Time for a rethink?

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