Education maintenance allowance

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a weekly payment of £30 for young people who are planning to continue in post-compulsory Education from August 2016.




  • Pupils born between 1st March 1997 and 30th September 2000 may be eligible for an award starting in August 2016.
  • Pupils born between 1st October 2000 and 28th February 2001 may be eligible for an award starting in January 2017. Pupils eligible from January 2017 do not need to wait until January to submit their application form.


The taxable household income between April 2015 and April 2016 determines the award:


  • Income of up to £24,421 (for families with a single dependent child) - £30
  • Income of up to £26,884 (for families with more than one dependent child) - £30


Dependant children are all those up to the age of 16, and those over the age of 16 and up to the age of 25 if they are in full time or higher education courses.


If there is a significant change in financial circumstances within the household since financial year 2015/16, you may be eligible to apply for an in-year reassessment during the current academic year.  This is possible where income for the current financial year has fallen from over £24,421 or £26,884 to within the EMA thresholds.  Any award made will be classed as provisional.  


All payments are paid directly into the pupils’ bank account, normally on a fortnightly basis.

EMA is paid in addition to other support and benefits provided by the government.  No one will lose out on any other money if the pupil is in receipt of an EMA.  It will not affect the parent’s Child Benefit or any money the pupil earns from a part-time job.

The pupil must attend all their course sessions and sign an EMA Learning Agreement with their school.  This agreement details what is expected of them in terms of attendance, coursework and progress.


How to apply?

See the publications section to print an application pack or collect one from any High School office. (PLEASE NOTE APPLICATION FORMS WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE UNTIL 1ST JUNE 2016.)

If eligible from August 2016, the application will only be backdated to the 15th of August 2016 if received in the EMA Unit by 30th September 2016 otherwise the EMA will start from the date the application is received.

If eligible from January 2017, the application will only be backdated to 9th January 2017 if received in the EMA Unit by 28th February 2017 otherwise the EMA will start from the date the application is received.

EMA recipients are required to complete a new application each academic year.

No applications for session 2016/17 will be processed after 31st March 2017.


PLEASE NOTE:  The above information is only applicable to pupils attending school or being Home Educated in Fife.  This information in not relevant for young people attending school in England, Ireland or Wales.  If you require information regarding an EMA for attending College please contact the College you will be attending.

Benefits and Council Tax Team, PO BOX 18015, Glenrothes, KY7 5YJ
Tel: 03451 55 11 55
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