Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

Get money for staying in education

Young people aged 16 to 19 could get a weekly allowance of £30 per week if you are

in the City of Edinburgh Council area.

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

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

One application is required per academic year.

If you reach the age of 16 on or before 30 September 2024, you can apply now and receive an award from the start of the school year in August.

If you reach the age of 16 between 1 October 2024 and 28 February 2025, you will be invited to apply in December 2024. You may receive an award from the start of the January 2025 term.

Apply for EMA

The award

If you are eligible for an EMA, we will send you an email to tell you.

Your school will then approve your payments for each week you attend.

If you are on a NOLB activity agreement, your activity coach will approve your payments.

If you are being home educated, 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 arrange for your payments to continue.

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.

Contact us

You can contact us to

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

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

Please use our contact form for any enquiries you have.

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

Contact school transactions

Download the education maintenance allowance privacy notice - PDF

School transactions

Address: The City of Edinburgh Council,
Transactions - Assessment & Finance,
PO Box 12331,