Apply for an Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Get money for staying on at school

Applications are closed for the current school year, but will reopen in June 2021 for the school year starting in August 2021.

If you start an activity agreement before then, please contact us directly for an application form. We will consider your application from the date your started your activity.

About EMA

You could get a weekly allowance of £30 per week if you are

  • at school
  • educated at home
  • on an activity agreement

in the City of Edinburgh Council area.

First, check that you match the conditions for an EMA on

If you are on an activity agreement, we will consider your application from the date you started your activity.

One application is required each academic year.

The award

If you are eligible for an EMA, we will send you

  • an 'award letter'
  • the terms and conditions of the award
  • a document called the learning agreement.

You, your parent or carer and your school must sign the learning agreement before we start payments.

Once you have completed the learning agreement, your school will approve your payments for each week you attend.

If you are on an activity agreement, your activity coach will approve your payments

If you are educated at home, you must submit weekly timesheets showing your activities for the week.

We make payments every two weeks on a Friday.

Download EMA payment schedules - PDFs


If you change schools within the City of Edinburgh area during term time, you must tell us so we can send you a new learning agreement.

If you move to a school outside the City of Edinburgh area, or to a college, you must make a fresh application to the new Council or the college.

Withheld payments

If any payments are withheld your school or activity coach should tell you and tell you why. The terms and conditions set out the reasons payments may be withheld.

If you do not receive the amount you expect on a pay day, please contact your school or activity coach.

Contacting us

Due to working remotely we can't take calls just now. Email

[email protected].

If you contact us please give your

  • full name
  • address
  • young person's name
  • school attending
  • Housing Benefit or Council Tax reference number.

We receive a high volume of emails and will get back to you as soon as we can.

Contact us to

  • ask a question about your application
  • give additional information
  • ask us to reconsider your application

Contact your school to find out why a payment has been stopped.

Download the education maintenance allowance privacy notice - PDF