Comment on Why EMA was Important to Children in Poverty by Michael.
TBH I think things have moved on from this slightly. Given that we now have a minimum wage and a fairly generous welfare system (albeit one being cut), I don’t see school being totally unaffordable to that many people, especially as many of the poorest families qualify for free school meals. The only real cost is transport, which is only a massive problem for those who live in cities.
I know people on EMA who spend it on whatever they feel like – it does not contribute to their school-related costs at all.
We clearly need a much more targeted system, and we need one which provides only for those who most need it – ideally one whose focus is on things like free bus passes rather than cash handouts.
We need cuts, and the EMA system is too generous to too many people. Sorry, but it’s true. Of course the most needy should be helped, but I know a lot of people at my sixth-form who don’t need/ misuse their EMA.