Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Education Maintenance Allowance

The EMA started in 2004/05 academic year to help students from lower income backgrounds to stay on in education post 16.   Thirty pounds per week has been paid making a difference to support them while studying.  

London has one of the highest percentages (54%) of 16-18 year receiving EMA in England and Hackney has one of the highest percentages in London. Fifty-eight percent of students at BSix college and 41% of students at Hackney Community College are in receipt of EMA. Take up has also been calculated in Hackney Schools. Those with the biggest take up are Cardinal Pole (73%) and Clapton Girls Technology College (76%).

The government proposed to cut that support to students and we believe that this will have a  serious impact for students in Hackney, not only for 16-18’s but also for adults, many of whom will have to pay fees for the first time. Hardship funds will be increased but only at about 10% of current EMA spending.

Hackney Councillors are not the only one's concerned about the abolition of the grant.  While take up rates are important for understanding the impact of the cut, the Institute for Fiscal Studies recently reported that showed there are other benefits too.  For example, those who receive EMA have more study time as a result of not having to take on a part-time job.

Despite last week's vote in parliament to abolish the EMA, we are heartened to learn that students will be attending the Council meeting on Wednesday 26 January to express their concerns about this impact cuts will have on young people in the borough

Full minutes of that meeting will be available on the councils' website.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Blue Hut Re-opens

After campaigning alongside the community to ensure the future of the Blue Hut youth club, we are delighted to learn that SkyWay will be reopening the Blue Hut from 24 January.

The club, run by Skyway, is part funded by Hackney Council and is one of the few local facilities dedicated to young people in this part of the borough.  That is why Hoxton Councillors were so disappointed to learn of its closure following a decision taken by Skyway.

The club has been a valuable and much loved local resource, and the four day a week programme that they will be running alongside Arsenal in the Community, will ensure that we once again have activities for young people in this part of the borough.

The club will reopen on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.