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As thousands of students march on Westminster as part of a rally to demonstrate the strength of feeling against plans for EMA and tuition fees, data shows that 59, 890 students in the East of England will lose out under Michael Gove's plans to axe Education Maintenance Allowance.
650,000 students per year receive EMA, which was introduced by Labour in 2004, 59, 890 of them in the Eastern region. The scheme was axed by Michael Gove in the Spending Review last month despite promises by David Cameron and Michael Gove before the election that the payments would be safe.
In January David Cameron said that the Conservatives “don’t have any plans to get rid of [EMA payments]”, and in March Michael Gove responded to Labour claims that EMA would be scrapped by saying “I have never said this. We won’t.”
Independent research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies has shown that the payments increased the number of students remaining in education who would not have done so without the financial incentive. The report also showed that students from “relatively disadvantaged areas did experience higher participation and attainment”.
Andy Burnham, Shadow Secretary of State for Education said:
“From the PM downwards, commitments were given that EMA was safe which have now been broken - another betrayal of young people.
“For those with the biggest challenges in life, EMA has been proven to boost attainment and help them succeed. The loss of EMA coupled with £9000 a year fees means that students from poorer families will be left thinking that post-16 education isn’t for them, meaning that thousands may fail to reach their full potential.”