Youngsters cash in

More than 380,000 youngsters in England received education maintenance allowances in the past four months.

The allowances, ranging from £10 to £30 a week, are paid to 16- and 17-year-olds who enrol in training or further education and who live in households whose annual income is less than £30,000. The Learning and Skills Council, which administers the scheme, expects the numbers of recipients to rise in 2006.

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