Education maintenance allowance

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a payment of £30 a week for people who remain in school, full time, after their 16th birthday.

Applications for school year 2023/24 are now closed

Who it’s for

An EMA is for anyone who:

  • was born between to 1 March 2005 – 28 February 2008 
  • EMA can be paid to 16-19 year olds
  • attends school, or home schooling, in the Stirling area for at least 21 hours a week
  • has completed a Learning Agreement with their school
  • has a household income below the levels set by the Scottish Government

To qualify in 2023/24, you must be the only dependant child in a household with an income of £24,421 or less a year. If there’s more than one dependant child in your household, the household income must be £26,884 or less.

You can get an EMA for up to 3 years, but you have to apply for it each year.

There’s more information on the EMA Scotland website.

Applying for an EMA

EMA is paid over and above any benefits received by your household, including Child benefits and Tax Credits. If you provide a Tax Credit Award Notice (TCAN) for 2022/23 this may help speed up your application. Don’t put off applying if you don’t have all the necessary information to hand. You can supply it later and if your application is successful your payments can be backdated.

If there’s more than one eligible child in your household, you can each apply for an EMA.


EMA payments

You’ll receive £30 a week, paid fortnightly into your bank account.

You’ll only be paid for weeks you attend school, not school holidays.

EMAs and your performance at school

Your EMA will be paid every week you’re at school, unless:

  • your attendance falls below 100% in any week, except for absences that are approved by the school or covered by a medical certificate
  • you don’t meet the conditions of your Learning Agreement

Support for vulnerable students

If you need help filling in the EMA application form, or if you have other support needs, get in touch.

College students

EMAs are also available for 16- to 19-year-olds who go to college. You can get information and application forms from your college. Stirling Council only deals with EMAs for school students.

Need help? Get in touch.



01786 233210


EMA Team
Teith House
Kerse Road
Stirling FK7 7QA