Save the Education Maintenance Allowance

Save the EMA – Get organised for 13 December 2010

Save EMA

The government intends to axe the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for college students in England. This will have a massive impact on those families in our communities who most need support to undertake education.

The EMA is a means-tested allowance of between £10 and £30, paid to 16- to 19-year-olds who stay on in education. In 2009/10, 635,000 learners received at least one EMA payment, and around 80 per cent of those the full £30.

The EMA helped support a huge increase in the number of young people from less well off backgrounds going onto college. Students in areas with higher levels of social hardship are most dependent on the weekly financial support, and will therefore be hit hard by this cut. In some areas of Birmingham, Leicester and the North West as many as four-fifths of students receive the EMA.

Thousands of students could now be forced to drop out of college which will in turn also put even more college jobs at risk.

This is a punitive, cruel, unfair and inadequately evidenced cut on the most vulnerable and those in the greatest need.

Take a stand now against the cruelest of cuts

NUS, UCU, Unison, NUT, Unite, GMB, ATL and NASUWT are holding a nationwide day of lunchtime protests at colleges on 13 December.

We are calling on all members to support these peaceful lunchtime protests at their local college.

Please note that this is a united day of protest and not industrial action.

What YOU can do

* Make urgent contact now with your other campus unions and Students’ Union or student reps to discuss local ideas for the day
* Speak to other union branches and community groups in your area and involve them in your plans
* Approach your college principal about your plans – ask them to support the day (many principals are concerned about the axing of the EMA)
* Sign the joint union EMA petition
* Contact your local MP ( to ask them to sign the petition, attend and/or publicly support the day and the campaign
* Put up a poster advertising the day of action: EMA day of action poster
* Distribute a leaflet about the day of action and the EMA cut: EMA day of action leaflet”

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