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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 from August 2021.


  • Pupils born between 1st March 2002 and 30th September 2005 may be eligible for an award starting in August 2021.
  • Pupils born between 1st October 2005 and 28th February 2006 may be eligible for an award starting in January 2022. Pupils eligible from January 2022 do not need to wait until January to submit their application form.

The taxable household income between April 2020 and April 2021 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're in full time or higher education courses.

If there's a significant change in financial circumstances within the household since financial year 2020/21, you may be eligible to apply for an in-year reassessment during the current academic year. This is possible where your 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 and you can see a list of payment dates by clicking the EMA Payment Dates button at the top of the page.

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's in receipt of an EMA. It won't 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.

If you don’t have access to a PC or mobile device with an internet connection, please contact your school for advice on how they can help.

If you're eligible from August 2021, the application will only be backdated to the 11th of August 2021 if we receive it by 30th September 2021. Otherwise, the EMA will start from the date the application's received.

If you're eligible from January 2022, the application will only be backdated to 8th January 2022 if we receive it by 28th February 2022. Otherwise, the EMA will start from the date the application's received.

You need to complete a new application each academic year. No applications can usually be made after 31st March each year until the application process is re-opened. However for the last 2 school years we have been accepting applications until the end of the summer term due to the impact of the pandemic. This may change depending on guidance from the Scottish Government.

Before you contact us, you may find it useful to view our list of frequently asked questions at the bottom of the page. If you still need some more help, you can contact us by emailing Please include your phone number so we can call you back.

PLEASE NOTE: The above information is only applicable to pupils attending school or being home educated in Fife.  This information is 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'll be attending.