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.


  • Pupils born between 1stMarch 2000 and 30thSeptember 2003 may be eligible for an award starting in August 2019.
  • Pupils born between 1stOctober 2003 and 29thFebruary 2004 may be eligible for an award starting in January 2020.  Pupils eligible from January 2020 do not need to wait until January to submit their application form.

The taxable household income between April 2018 and April 2019 determines the award:

  • Income of up to £24,421 (for families with a single dependant child) - £30
  • Income of up to £26,884 (for families with more than one dependant 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 2018/19, 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?

Apply Here

If you don’t have access to a PC or mobile device with an internet connection, you can use:

If you need help completing the application form you can contact us

  • Online:; or
  • Tel: 03451 55 11 55

If eligible from August 2019, the application will only be backdated to the 19th of August 2019 if received by 30th September 2019 otherwise the EMA will start from the date the application is received.

If eligible from January 2020, the application will only be backdated to 6th January 2020 if received by 29th February 2020 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 2019/20 will be processed after 31st March 2020.

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.

Your Enquiry

Please give details below about the nature of your enquiry.

Send enquiry to: EMA Team, PO BOX 18015, Glenrothes, KY7 5YJ

If you want to complain about the services you've received from Fife Council please click here



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