Tristram Hunt, the current Shadow Education Secretary has confirmed the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) will be re-introduced if the 2015 election results in a Labour majority. Writing in praise of this move, former Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett MP said:
“A crucial aspect of achieving social mobility within our education system is by reinstating the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), which was first introduced back in 1999 when I was Education Secretary.
EMA, which provided a maximum of £30 per week, supported young people still in education with the cost of transport, books and college equipment. It offered genuine fairness for students who, through no fault of their own, find themselves hampered by the most deep seated disadvantaged in their lives.”
“We are delighted that the Labour Party leadership have made a commitment to bring back EMA if they are elected in 2015. This represents a huge victory for the Bring Back EMA Campaign which was launched just over a year ago.
This proves that campaigning and protesting works. Our national days and weeks of action which have mobilized thousands of college students on dozens of campuses across the country. This not only delivered the backing of 63 MPs for our Early Day Motion in Parliament but it has undoubtedly played a key role in persuading the Labour Party to make a commitment to restore this vital grant.
The coalition government’s decision to scrap EMA was a massive attack on the aspirations of thousands of the poorest young people in our society and we will not cease campaigning until EMA is brought back once and for all.
Please sign the recently launched Bring Back EMA petition to send a clear message to David Cameron and the Tories that we want EMA to be brought back and we want it now.”