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    (Original post by leannemann)
    Personally, my EMA bonus will be contributing to work experience that I am doing in Paris, which is really useful as I'm applying to do languages at uni and it will generally improve my French.
    That sounds great. How did you arrange that? I'd love to do something like that.
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    I don't think that unless your parents are divorced, then you are in a position to say that they should count both incomes. That would be totally unfair as you would be counting income that the household wasn't getting. It would be hard to say that people had to get certain grades in order to get EMA, but I think that if there was more emphasis on the contracts you have to sign then it would be better. The contracts at the moment are very vague, and they should be more specific. I missed a lot of school at the end of last year when my nan was really ill, but the school acknowledged the fact that I was still putting in maximum effort into my work, and this will be put on my UCAS form. However, this was the school's decision and the contract doesn't mention what would happen in these kind of circumstances...
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    (Original post by leannemann)
    I don't think that unless your parents are divorced, then you are in a position to say that they should count both incomes. That would be totally unfair as you would be counting income that the household wasn't getting. It would be hard to say that people had to get certain grades in order to get EMA, but I think that if there was more emphasis on the contracts you have to sign then it would be better. The contracts at the moment are very vague, and they should be more specific. I missed a lot of school at the end of last year when my nan was really ill, but the school acknowledged the fact that I was still putting in maximum effort into my work, and this will be put on my UCAS form. However, this was the school's decision and the contract doesn't mention what would happen in these kind of circumstances...
    A lot of people on here have been saying that a major problem with EMA is that it doesn't take into account the income of both parents, so you end up with private school kids with dads on £100k a year who get everything bought for them, yet still get EMA because they only live with their mum. How is that fair?

    I don't think it should be linked to grades as such, ie only those getting As and Bs get EMA, but only in the sense that if someone has a predicted grade of an A but they're currently working at a C, they're obviously not putting in enough effort and so don't deserve EMA. At the moment, you can doss around all year, get Es when you're capable of far better grades and still get EMA because it only goes on attendance, which is wrong.
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    But then there are people, like my boyfriend, whose parents are divorced and he doesn't even talk to his dad, who goes to a private school but gets little help from his dad and is currently eligible for £30 EMA. His travel to school costs £700 a year. There has to be some cut off point, as someone mentioned.

    EMA doesn't only go on attendance as I mentioned, it also goes on the contract you sign between you and your school. If your progress is satisfactory then you get EMA. What I am saying is that the contracts need to be more specific, and schools need to be more aware of what kind of progress there needs to be for it to be called "satisfactory". This I think will come as EMA becomes more established.
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    (Original post by leannemann)
    But then there are people, like my boyfriend, whose parents are divorced and he doesn't even talk to his dad, who goes to a private school but gets little help from his dad and is currently eligible for £30 EMA. His travel to school costs £700 a year. There has to be some cut off point, as someone mentioned.

    EMA doesn't only go on attendance as I mentioned, it also goes on the contract you sign between you and your school. If your progress is satisfactory then you get EMA. What I am saying is that the contracts need to be more specific, and schools need to be more aware of what kind of progress there needs to be for it to be called "satisfactory". This I think will come as EMA becomes more established.
    Is he on a scholarship/bursary? Otherwise how can his mum afford private school with an income of less than £30k a year? In any case, surely he has to get some help from his dad through the CSA? About travel costs, if he went to a school nearer to him, he wouldn't need to pay for travel.

    That's weird, I don't remember signing anything about progress....all I can remember is that Part 1 attendance thing. We had to sign another contract to get our bonus, which basically said we'd only get it if we got all 1s and 2s (the highest marks) for effort on our interim reports. It should be linked to effort for the weekly payments as well though, not just the bonuses.
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    He has several bursaries to allow him to stay in school since his dad left. His mum has an income of less than 15k, but she still has a degree, for those of you who think people on EMA are all stupid, as are their parents. He gets maintenance from his dad, which is included when assessing EMA, but I mean that he gets no additional help from him, like the other private school student you mentioned. There is only one school nearer to him, and he was going to go there for 6th form until he got the bursaries. Everyone concerned also thought that it was better to stay on at the same school for stability and he is also extensively involved in extra-curricular stuff at school, which they appreciate. He can't move nearer to school as it would mean a huge increase in council tax, which would defeat the object of saving money.

    We have half termly reports and I think it should be that if effort has been satisfactory during that time then should continue getting EMA, if not, then you don't get it until effort improves. I agree with you that weekly payments should be linked to effort and attendance (I got confused before - I think each school is a bit different!). As far as bonuses are concerned, if you agreed a realistic target with your tutor beforehand, then got it then that would be a better way to give bonuses. E.g. you can have your bonus if you get AAB or whatever...
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    (Original post by leannemann)
    I don't think that unless your parents are divorced, then you are in a position to say that they should count both incomes. That would be totally unfair as you would be counting income that the household wasn't getting.
    this is going to sounds harsh, but it isn't the state's business to sort out domestic disputes like this. if the father isn't paying his way, then that is dreadful, but it still isn't the job of the state to sort it out.

    under the present system, people i know, who's parents' incomes total £100k or more are entitled to the full amount. EMA will amount to little more than beer money, seeing as the person in question already has a lucrative saturday job, and the father will be FULLY supporting his child through university, to the extent student loans won't be needed.

    ask yourself, is that fair? better still, is that a good use of tax payers money? surely the money could be better used to provide free school trips, or free transport. and i've said it once, and i'll say it again, part time jobs might be difficult, but they are always there.

    everything i wear i've bought myself and for every night out, i use my own money. i really can't see why other people can't do the same.
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    (Original post by leannemann)
    His mum has an income of less than 15k, but she still has a degree, for those of you who think people on EMA are all stupid, as are their parents. He gets maintenance from his dad, which is included when assessing EMA, but I mean that he gets no additional help from him, like the other private school student you mentioned....
    Firstly, great example of someone who has a degree, and is therefore intelligent, but doesn't earn a lot. Far too many people on here are quick to dismiss those on EMA as thick, lazy scroungers with thick, lazy, scrounger parents. Secondly, I didn't realise maintenace was included when assessing EMA. If it is, that's better but it would still be difficult to make the system fair in light of the other examples Ant87 mentioned.

    (Original post by leannemann)
    We have half termly reports and I think it should be that if effort has been satisfactory during that time then should continue getting EMA, if not, then you don't get it until effort improves. I agree with you that weekly payments should be linked to effort and attendance (I got confused before - I think each school is a bit different!). As far as bonuses are concerned, if you agreed a realistic target with your tutor beforehand, then got it then that would be a better way to give bonuses. E.g. you can have your bonus if you get AAB or whatever...
    Yep, definitely. The system just needs to be tighter so that only those students who put effort into their work and achieve the grades they're capable of get EMA.
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    i meant that you cannot count both incomes unless you have substancial evidence that the student is getting money that is additional to the maintenance that the parent is paying. you cannot assume that just because some people whose parents are divorced get a lot of money, that everyone else does, as a lot of people I know whose parents are divorced have very little money. guess it goes back to the old saying that there are two sides to every argument... I personally cannot get a part time job, but that is for totally different reasons. I think jobs are good in that they give you a sense of independance, and I respect you for having one, but it is not always possible.
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    i am unsure as to whether i will recieve EMA next yr, as my mom is a Senior Lecturer at Uni, but went to two days a week (dropping her salary to 12000 before tax) to look after my nan who had dementia and was rapidly deteriorating, however when she died in 2004 my mom (who i live with alone btw and i have only met my dad twice, he left before i was born and has no contact) decided to go full time again and so with inflation etc her salary is now back at 32000, and so i now fall out of the boundary, however because she did this part way through the yr, i am unsure what situation we shall be in. Money has always been tight for us as my mom has had to pay off my father business debts when he left 16yrs ago, and left her as a sign off name on the laons leaving her with a lot to pay (lets just leave it at a six-figure number). Although i am out the boundary any money would be very useful. however i would still go to sixth form without it as i love school and go a grammar school in birmingham. i do not have a saturday job, but i do have a full time job planned for the summer.

    taking grades in account of people is a good idea in theory,but how could you regualte someone who is getting C's but is atually working to their own full potential, and someone who is getting C's and says they are, but frankly cant be bothered, without having to look into individual educational histories.

    Both incomes should be taken into account if there is evidence that the absent parent does contribute to the child, this in the majority of cases can be regulated a bit easier.

    I just wanted to say my part, and put my story forward. not everyone falls into one catergory of under 20K and poor, and stupid, or everyone with an income of 30K+ is comfortable.

    a better judgement would be to have the banking information of parents look at their disposable income, look where their money is going each month. Thanks
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    i think looking at banking info is a gd idea, as that would take into consideration how many children each couple had. my boyfriend only got bursaries as his mum filled in a large number of forms detailing exactly where all her money went, proving that she didnt have enough money for him to continue at his present school. this is a more rational way of looking at things
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    (Original post by leannemann)
    i think looking at banking info is a gd idea, as that would take into consideration how many children each couple had. my boyfriend only got bursaries as his mum filled in a large number of forms detailing exactly where all her money went, proving that she didnt have enough money for him to continue at his present school. this is a more rational way of looking at things
    Definitely, the only problem is that it would mean more paperwork, more time to assess everyone etc.
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    I agree that the money paid for bonuses could be used in a more effective way. However the aim of EMA is to help people get an education who otherwise wouldnt. Its there to attract people to go to college/6th form and the money can then be used so that thye can go to university. Its up to the people who get the money what they do with it. They have the cahnce to save it and go to university - or they can spend it and waste the money. I'd be only just able to get EMA. I didnt apply this year because my living arrangements are changing and I may not be eligable. But naturaly if its there then people shuold take it.

    All in all I think its a good idea because it gives everyone and equal chance at an education. But saying that, getting a bonus is something I dont agree with. But I like the idea that you only get your payment each week with good attendance - it gives more people an incentive to stay at school/college.
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    Definitely, the only problem is that it would mean more paperwork, more time to assess everyone etc.
    well its not as if they are short on time, they start in April after P45's for that yr come out and then they rush to get out that notice of entitlement or whatever for June-ish, if they used June July and August, it gives them a couple extra months to work thing out before people start or go back to sixth form/ college in september.

    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    You and others have repeatedly mentioned the fact that no student could possibly need up to £30 a week for expenses, therefore if it's not designed purely to cover expenses, it's common sense that it must aslo be an incentive.
    And here, again, comes the argument that anyone who really wanted to continue their education and succeed would not need more of an incentive than that! You also fail, then, to answer our solution to the system: vouchers instead of cash. Why not? Not enough of an incentive for you or other EMA students?

    That's a ridiculous thing to say. How can you possibly justify abolising an entire system and denying many deserving people EMA just because a few people abuse it? Look at how many benefits cheats there are; does that mean we should scrap benefits entirely? Whatever the system, there'll always be a few who abuse it. It's inevitable.
    What makes you think that the majority of EMA recipients are deserving? Why discriminate against all students in favour of a few? Just about all students face the same money troubles; all could do with an "incentive". And please don't get me started on the benefits system - it does next to nothing, and creates a culture of dependency and an underclass.

    If a system is abused, it's not working.

    Another ridiculous statement. So you think if someone can't get straight As at A-level, they shouldn't bother doing them and they should just get a job instead? If everyone got As, what would be the point of having a 5-point grading system? I agree EMA should be linked to effort as well as attendance, but some people can't get As no matter how hard they try. That doesn't mean they don't deserve EMA; in my opinion, they deserve it more than those who manage to get As but do very little work. It would also be a complete waste of money giving it to people who are already rich and don't need it just because they happen to get good grades.
    If they cannot achieve highly in further/higher education, then surely they are not suited to it and should take on a vocational course instead? That seems logical to me. Why pay individuals to achieve a C or less? Anything less than a C is, quite frankly, a bit worthless. It's just as luducrous as suggesting that 50% or more of the population should have a university education - and upgrading polytechnics to suit! FYI, Effort goes hand-in-hand with attainment. And in my experience, EMA is given to college students and so forth with no work ethic anyway - they just want the "incentive" (i.e. money).

    Yes, which is a perfectly valid thing to do because the money will go towards my education, which is what you're saying EMA should be used for. What's your point?
    EMA is not meant to fund your university education. Therefore, it should be spent solely on your sixth form career - not least because poorer students are entitled to the full student loan, travel grants, HE grants, university bursaries and so forth. In other words, their university education is just about paid for them anyway. How is that fair? The vast majority of "middle class, rich" students leave university in debt and have to pay it back without parental help - why is that ok?

    (Original post by sheepgirl)
    I agree that the money paid for bonuses could be used in a more effective way. However the aim of EMA is to help people get an education who otherwise wouldnt. Its there to attract people to go to college/6th form and the money can then be used so that thye can go to university. Its up to the people who get the money what they do with it. They have the cahnce to save it and go to university - or they can spend it and waste the money. I'd be only just able to get EMA. I didnt apply this year because my living arrangements are changing and I may not be eligable. But naturaly if its there then people shuold take it.
    There's the flaw in your statement. You cannot justify that in anyway whatsoever - it is completely unfair and promotes irresponsible behaviour.

    All in all I think its a good idea because it gives everyone and equal chance at an education. But saying that, getting a bonus is something I dont agree with. But I like the idea that you only get your payment each week with good attendance - it gives more people an incentive to stay at school/college.
    Please explain how a system which is based on such positive discrimintaion gives everyone an equal chance? Further, good attendance does not equal attainment or effort - the pupils might not care or might be, and probably are, just disruptive.
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    To all those who are suggesting linking the payments to performance...

    What a silly idea. Surely that defeats half of the point. One of my best friends survives off her EMA money. She is only going to get two Ds at A Level but is desperated to go onto higher education hence why she is still at school. If she couldn't get the full EMA money that she gets then she would be working full time instead. In fact EMA actually made her decide to stay on at school. My area was part of the pilot scheme area so she has been getting it for a couple of years now. When it came to leaving her school afer GCSEs she was going to get a full time job but the prospect of getting EMA made it possible for her to come to my school for 6th form. Probably one of many rather extreme cases as a lot of people would probably stay anyway...People do get it because of divorced parents but it would be impossible to decide who deserved it. Taking both incomes wouldn't be fair for those who don't speak to one parent, although the current system seems unfairly biased towards favouring those who get lots of money from their other parents. There is no practical way of making those decisions. Anyway where would you draw the line. What about those who get support from Grandparents-I know I get quite a lot of money regulary from my grandparents..

    A big flaw in the system that happens in my school not sure about others so I would be interested to see if this happens, is the ease with which attendance records can be manipulated. So many people come in for morning registration mark themselves in the register then go home without going to lessons...People take a few days off come back get hold of the register and then rub out the absence marks and say they were in so they still get money. If a payment gets withheld because they missed lessons then they go tell the woman in the office that she messed up her records and they were in and they havn't been paid and it gets changed!! Does this happen everywhere?

    (Original post by sparklyteacosie)
    To all those who are suggesting linking the payments to performance...

    What a silly idea. Surely that defeats half of the point. One of my best friends survives off her EMA money. She is only going to get two Ds at A Level but is desperated to go onto higher education hence why she is still at school. If she couldn't get the full EMA money that she gets then she would be working full time instead. In fact EMA actually made her decide to stay on at school. My area was part of the pilot scheme area so she has been getting it for a couple of years now. When it came to leaving her school afer GCSEs she was going to get a full time job but the prospect of getting EMA made it possible for her to come to my school for 6th form. Probably one of many rather extreme cases as a lot of people would probably stay anyway...People do get it because of divorced parents but it would be impossible to decide who deserved it. Taking both incomes wouldn't be fair for those who don't speak to one parent, although the current system seems unfairly biased towards favouring those who get lots of money from their other parents. There is no practical way of making those decisions. Anyway where would you draw the line. What about those who get support from Grandparents-I know I get quite a lot of money regulary from my grandparents..
    Two D's isn't going to get her into a good university, or a good course. In fact, most universities require at least 3 A-Levels. It is, effectively, a waste of money and resources - as would her going to university. An example of the dumbing down of the education system and higher education (on par with upgrading polytechnics?). Further, EMA is not meant to fund people's lives - only education: people are not meant to "survive" off it.

    A big flaw in the system that happens in my school not sure about others so I would be interested to see if this happens, is the ease with which attendance records can be manipulated. So many people come in for morning registration mark themselves in the register then go home without going to lessons...People take a few days off come back get hold of the register and then rub out the absence marks and say they were in so they still get money. If a payment gets withheld because they missed lessons then they go tell the woman in the office that she messed up her records and they were in and they havn't been paid and it gets changed!! Does this happen everywhere?
    Oh the calibre of some EMA students... :mad:
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    (Original post by sparklyteacosie)
    One of my best friends survives off her EMA money. She is only going to get two Ds at A Level but is desperated to go onto higher education hence why she is still at school.
    Why on earth is she wasting her own time and tax payers money by staying in education if she will receive two D-grades? I'm sorry, but I find that totally rediculous. Her time would be better spent on a course which she is actually good at and enjoys (she can't really be enjoying subjects in which she is at D-grade level). As already mentioned, she will need at least 3 A-levels for virtually any univerisity course, and she could spend her time more productively elsewhere.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.../ixportal.html
 
 
 
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