Cash incentives for students

More
than a third of a million 16-year-olds are being offered money to stay in
education, in an effort to end the high drop-out rate at that age.

The
Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), worth between £10 and £30 a week, will
be available to those from low-income families in England from September.

Students
could also receive bonuses of £100 if they remain on the course and make good
progress. However, those who miss lessons will forfeit their right to a grant.

EMAs
have been piloted across a third of the country since 1999. To qualify for the
allowance, young people must come from households with incomes of less than
£30,000 a year.

The
Government expects 350,000 teenagers to be eligible. Of these, around 70,000
are expected to take up the offer.

The
UK has one of the highest rates for leaving school at 16 in the developed
world.

By Mike Berry

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