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Education Maintenance Allowance

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is an allowance of £30 per week, which can be paid to eligible students who stay on in education after the age of 16 years.


You can apply for an EMA if you are a student staying on in education after the age of 16 years and you attend a North Lanarkshire School or CLD Learning HUB:

If you are:-

  • 16 years of age or over before 30th September 2021, you may be eligible for an EMA from the beginning of the August school term.
  • 16 years of age after the 1st October 2021 and before 28th February 2022, you may be eligible for an EMA from January 2022

The cut-off date for processing application forms for the academic year 2021-2022 is 31 March 2022.

No applications will be accepted after that date.

Students must be ordinarily resident in the UK. Generally, this relates to the qualifying date and the 3 years immediately before. 

The income thresholds for EMA, for Academic Session 2021 – 2022 are as follows:

Gross Taxable income No of dependent children in household Award
Up to £24,421 1 £30
Up to £26,884 2+ £30

NOTE: Dependent children are all those up to the age of 16 and those over the age of 16 and up to the age 25 if they are in full time Further or Higher Education (proof required)

EMA application form

Pupils who previously received an EMA award are required to re-apply and complete a new application form for session 2021/2022.

If you experience any issues accessing the form, please contact the EMA Section.

Submit your completed application form and supporting documents to

Supporting documents

  • The bank account details must be that of the student.  The only exception to this is where the applicant has additional support needs which makes this impractical. We will contact the school for their advice on the information provided before a decision is made.
  • Applicant’s birth certificate
  • If you are in employment a P60 for year-end April 2021 will be suitable or a Wk. 52 or Month 12 payslip showing the final pay to date.
  • If you are in receipt of benefits please provide us with letters or certificates confirming total benefit received for period April 2020 -April 2021. 
  • If you have a Tax Credit form (TCAN) from HMRC which shows your actual income for 2020-2021 this will be sufficient.
  • If you are a lone parent household we will require proof of this, provide us with your Council Tax Bill showing the 25% reduction, TCAN showing you claim as an individual or Universal Credit Monthly Statement showing you are single.
  • If you are self-employed, please provide us with an SA302 or end of year final tax assessment certificate from HMRC or if you have a current Tax Credit form showing actual income (not estimated) for 2020-2021
  • If you are in receipt of any pensions please submit confirmation of total received for period April 2020- April 2021
  • If you are an Independent student living on your own, please provide us with evidence of any benefits you receive in your own right.
  • If you are in Foster Care/ Kinship Care/ Local Authority Care or a Looked After Child, we will require a letter from your Social Worker to inform us of your situation and a copy of your birth certificate. We do not use the household income.
  • If your parents receive payment as foster carers for other children living in your household, the fees element of their payment will be taken into account in assessing your application.

In-year reassessments

This is possible where income for the current financial year has fallen under the relevant threshold for the household. Documentation will be required confirming both the change in circumstances (e.g. due to loss of employment, reduction in earnings etc) and the current level of gross income.

You should submit a letter requesting assessment on the current circumstances and supply proof of the current income.

(N.B. – where reassessment has been requested and results in the student becoming eligible for an EMA award, payment will only be made from the date the request for reassessment has been received in the EMA Section. In addition, the award will be made provisionally; payment will be suspended at a later date and you will be asked to provide further confirmation that your income remains under the relevant threshold.)

Learning Agreement

You must meet the conditions of your agreement to receive an EMA - for example:

  • attend school or learning HUB for a minimum of 21 guided learning hours per week
  • 100% attendance

Your payment can be withheld if you:

  • are persistently late
  • don't follow your school/ learning HUB’s discipline policy
  • don't progress in your studies


  • you can self-certify for up to 5 days (10 half days) sickness absence during an academic session
  • absences of 5 days, or more, must be covered by a doctor's medical certificate for your EMA payment to be made
  • if you're absent for a period of more than 3 weeks because of illness your allowance will be reviewed.



Payments are made 2 weekly in arrears.

When we receive the learning agreement back from the school your payments will commence and any back dated payments due to you will be with this payment. If you do not receive a payment and you think you should, please contact your school.

If you require further advice contact the EMA section by email at  or telephone 01236 812430

You can also find out more information on EMA Scotland website.

Page last updated:
05 Jul 2021

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