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    I believe i live in a reasonably disadvantaged area and attend a school/sixth form just exiting special measures. Thus, I have seen first hand how people take advantage of the education maintenance allowance.

    I received the EMA allowance last year and have saved around 90% of it for university, spending the other 10% on books etc. This year i receive nothing and have thus had to get a job, jepordising my A-Levels to some extent. However, I know of many people who abuse the EMA money and don't really need it. One has freely admitted to me that he uses it at the pub in the daytime or spends it on alcohol.

    This is clearly a waste of public money and highlights the fact that we need to reconsider how EMA funds are allocated.

    I read an interesting article in a newspaper the weekend, where the writer highlighted how the world of academia is often shunned while sport is hyped beyond all proportion. They went on to mention how it was okay to significantly fund the best sportsmen who were likely to win medals, but if bright students are funded above others it is seen as elitist and not desirable. Surely this is a serious problem in our society?

    I propose that EMA be revised, so that only those achieving A/B at A-Level (or Cs in respectable subjects) are awarded money. If you're achieving anything less than those grades surely it suggests you're not putting enough time and effort into your studies - and thus not giving the tax payer value for money.

    What do you people think? Is my proposition elitist or is it just a good dose of common sense in the present potty politically correct culture?

    I'd be interested to hear thoughts on the matter.
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    I think the whole idea of the scheme was to get more teenagers going into sixth form and colleges to continue their education. As usual the Govt assumes that middle class students will stay on regardless and so target a system to working class. I know a lot of people that wanted to just get out of school and get money, yet being really intelligent. By offering money to these people there is more chance they will stay in education. What they make of that education is up to them.
    I don't get EMA but from what I understand you have to go to every lesson to get it. You have to be relativly dedicated to do this. After all for some people it is only £10 if they are going to the pub that will last all of 4 drinks.

    It should be given on effort and not attendance though. I know it is very easy to go to all lesons but not do any work, however the grade scheme seems somewhat unfair. Some people can get A's without any effort while others work really hard for them. The student should be individually assesed by subject teachers. If they believe they are putting in the effort then they should be paid.
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    (Original post by Gaz031)
    I received the EMA allowance last year and have saved around 90% of it for university, spending the other 10% on books etc.
    Well done.

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    This year i receive nothing and have thus had to get a job, jepordising my A-Levels to some extent.
    Why?

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    However, I know of many people who abuse the EMA money and don't really need it. One has freely admitted to me that he uses it at the pub in the daytime or spends it on alcohol.
    According to the govenment website, students are "the cash can cover items such as travel costs, books or equipment. It's your money – so you decide how to spend it." Note the bold words.

    http://www.dfes.gov.uk/financialhelp...&CategoryID=93

    The money is an incentive to attend sixth-form/college and gain some extra qualifications, not only to fund education.

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    This is clearly a waste of public money and highlights the fact that we need to reconsider how EMA funds are allocated.
    I agree with you if they waste it down the pub, but what would be the criteria for allocation?

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    I propose that EMA be revised, so that only those achieving A/B at A-Level (or Cs in respectable subjects) are awarded money.
    In which case the EMA would be a wasted concept. The whole point is to give a cash incentive on a weekly basis to encourage learning and attendance.

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    If you're achieving anything less than those grades surely it suggests you're not putting enough time and effort into your studies - and thus not giving the tax payer value for money.
    Absolute rubbish. It in no way suggest you are not putting the work in. I know of people who have to study night and day to get the grades they want and need, and still often don't acheive that, primarily because they are not academically able.

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    Is my proposition elitist or is it just a good dose of common sense in the present potty politically correct culture?
    Your assumptions that if money is not spent on books etc, but on personal leisure, it is wasted, is wrong, at least according to the governments own descriptions.

    How will you moniter who will get EMA and who not?

    You must also acknowledge that EMA is an incentive. That is it's primary use.
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    (Original post by Luize)
    I think the whole idea of the scheme was to get more teenagers going into sixth form and colleges to continue their education. As usual the Govt assumes that middle class students will stay on regardless and so target a system to working class.
    I don't think the idea of the scheme was to fund visits to concerts or alcohol.

    I know a lot of people that wanted to just get out of school and get money, yet being really intelligent. By offering money to these people there is more chance they will stay in education. What they make of that education is up to them.
    I think they should only get the EMA if they are determined to make something of their education and give the tax payers value for money.

    I don't get EMA but from what I understand you have to go to every lesson to get it. You have to be relativly dedicated to do this.
    This is far from the truth. Not all sixth form centres even take a proper register at each lesson. They can get their EMA even if they haven't attended. Also, is it fair for someone who scrapes the required EMA hours from general studies, media studies, key skills and study support to get the money? I don't think so.

    After all for some people it is only £10 if they are going to the pub that will last all of 4 drinks.
    It's still a waste of money. Some get 30 pounds and bonuses! That's a lot of money to waste.

    It should be given on effort and not attendance though.
    Here's where some see elitism starting. I think it should be given on grades. If you can't achieve Cs, then academia isn't for you. Someone i saw as recently as today received EMA and hopes to achieve an 'E' in ICT.

    Some people can get A's without any effort while others work really hard for them.
    But the ones who do get A grades are going to go on to university and give taxpayers good return on the investment. They are actually going to make a difference to the future of the country. We need more lawyers, mathematicians, physicists etc.

    The student should be individually assesed by subject teachers. If they believe they are putting in the effort then they should be paid.
    We all know how easy it is to get a teacher to say something. Teachers are only human and interact with the student. I also oppose coursework for similar reasons.

    Perhaps i shouldn't have lumped the EMA and funding for academia vibe into one post. I'll make another topic eventually with more structure.
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    Why?
    EMA allocation is now run by a different organisation in our area - with different terms and conditions. One of those is that it takes both birth parents and non birth parents earnings into account. It jepordises my A-Levels because I have A2 Math, AS+A2 FM, A2 Bio, A2 ICT, A2 GenSt and a job, which is a lot of juggling.

    The money is an incentive to attend sixth-form/college and gain some extra qualifications, not only to fund education.
    It should be an incentive to get extra GOOD qualifications that show what the pupil is capable of achieving. People aiming for E grades shouldn't get EMA like they do at present.

    In which case the EMA would be a wasted concept. The whole point is to give a cash incentive on a weekly basis to encourage learning and attendance.
    If people know they had to get a good grade to benefit then surely that would be a better incentive for real learning? At the moment it just encourages people to turn up to claim the money, rather than do any study in their own time.

    Absolute rubbish. It in no way suggest you are not putting the work in. I know of people who have to study night and day to get the grades they want and need, and still often don't acheive that, primarily because they are not academically able.
    Everyone is good at something in life. Perhaps they would be better off doing a more vocational course or working their way up in a comany through experience.

    How will you moniter who will get EMA and who not?
    Grades and effort.

    You must also acknowledge that EMA is an incentive. That is it's primary use.
    It should be an incentive to study in a mature manner to achieve good qualifications and so eventually contribute to the future of our nation.
    It should NOT be an incentive to turn up just to get the money. Those time wasters also place a strain on class sizes and disrupt a mature working enviroment.
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    Personally I think the EMA should be scrapped. I had to work and do my a-levels at the same time as did a number of friends. If particular students feel that they should be entitled to educational support then they should apply for a loan from the LEA to support them theough. The majority of a-level students are living at home anyway so what real large expenditure do they have.
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    i get ema and am lucky to enjoy its benefits everyweek , £30 a week. so in that way, i can concentrate on my school work and not have to get a job. i see no reason for it to be scrapped as it helps people like me whose parents dont earn as much as other kids. i dont get no pocket money off my rents, so ema helps.
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    (Original post by swishmasta)
    i get ema and am lucky to enjoy its benefits everyweek , £30 a week. so in that way, i can concentrate on my school work and not have to get a job. i see no reason for it to be scrapped as it helps people like me whose parents dont earn as much as other kids. i dont get no pocket money off my rents, so ema helps.
    Heck I've never had pocket money and my family is far from well off. I just thing its importnat to learn to help ourselves and not have the government using money on schemes such as this.
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    (Original post by Gaz031)
    I think they should only get the EMA if they are determined to make something of their education and give the tax payers value for money.
    The majority of 16-18 year olds don't know what they want to do in the future. Thus they may not, in your eyes, make the most of their education. They could, God forbid, take 'mickey mouse' subjects. Things which they enjoy. Why do we all need to make something out of our education? What happened to learning for enjoyment or curiosity?

    This is far from the truth. Not all sixth form centres even take a proper register at each lesson. They can get their EMA even if they haven't attended. Also, is it fair for someone who scrapes the required EMA hours from general studies, media studies, key skills and study support to get the money? I don't think so.
    My Alevels at the moment would only just scrape the EMA hours, yet I'm doing 3 A2s and 1AS (More then most of people in my college. The advise only 3 subjects) I guess my college have managed to teach courses in less time, or focus more on individual learning.
    And when will people stop jumping on the bandwagon of Media Studies being easy or 'mickey mouse'. You consume the media everyday. And it isn't all watching TV as some think. A lot if not all of the Media course is just as complicated as a more academic subject, only there aren't as many numbers/formulas etc.

    Here's where some see elitism starting. I think it should be given on grades. If you can't achieve Cs, then academia isn't for you. Someone i saw as recently as today received EMA and hopes to achieve an 'E' in ICT.
    How about those that need (or wanted) to get A levels to go on a practial based University course?
    E is still a grade, it is not a fail, it is a pass. If it wasn't worth a boundry being there then the exam boards would not have set one. You may find things easy, other people won't. Even with the most effort, they might not achieve that C you say is so important. It's effort you should reward, not the abliity to perform well in exams. (Which in all honestly only test memory)

    But the ones who do get A grades are going to go on to university and give taxpayers good return on the investment. They are actually going to make a difference to the future of the country. We need more lawyers, mathematicians, physicists etc.
    It would be very hard for the world as a whole to function without people doing the 'menial' jobs. Who do you think keeps your streets clean? who do you think makes sure that sewage isn't in your drinking water? Who do you think brings you food?
    It would be a very different world if there were people below the people that will 'make a difference'

    We all know how easy it is to get a teacher to say something. Teachers are only human and interact with the student. I also oppose coursework for similar reasons.
    In my college it isn't that easy, the teachers don't build up your hopes, or predict you A's when you won't get them. So no, I don't know how easy it is.
    And as for coursework, it is marked by your teacher and then moderated. If any marking is out of line then it would be found.


    (Original post by from reply to Mad Caddie)
    It jepordises my A-Levels because I have A2 Math, AS+A2 FM, A2 Bio, A2 ICT, A2 GenSt and a job, which is a lot of juggling
    It may be a lot of juggling, but it should teach you time management. You need to have this skill for life. As well as prioritising. You are taking 5 A2's... 3 is usually the norm, unless applying for oxbridge where a 4th Alevel is desirable. As most universitys don't accept GenSt why still do it?
    And you said that you had no need for a job last year, but now you do?
    If you saved 90% of the EMA last year then why not dip into that to pay for books this year. It seems a bit flawed.
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    (Original post by Gaz031)
    It should be an incentive to get extra GOOD qualifications
    You can't be the judge of what is a "GOOD" qualification and what is not. The whole idea of the EMA system is to encourage people to stay on, obviously most people will not stay on purely for the EMA as they could earn more working full time in a day, then the £30 they are given a week.

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    that show what the pupil is capable of achieving. People aiming for E grades shouldn't get EMA like they do at present.
    I can't speak of experience as I don't know of anyone one personnally who has received EMA, I do know that for the student to recieve the EMA they must meet certain criteria, such as full attendance and punctuality. They must also complete all work set on time and show progress, and it is the schools duty to uphold and moniter this. I think you are generalising that most EMA claimants are getting E's.

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    If people know they had to get a good grade to benefit then surely that would be a better incentive for real learning?
    You are assuming that all EMA claimants are simply there for the money. I think you'll find that the majority continue into further educations by choice, regardless of EMA. The figures for people studying A Level pre and post-EMA have not changed dramatically, so your assumption that more are in it for the EMA is wrong.

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    At the moment it just encourages people to turn up to claim the money, rather than do any study in their own time.
    I disagree.

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    Everyone is good at something in life. Perhaps they would be better off doing a more vocational course or working their way up in a comany through experience.
    But would you not deem a voacational course not "GOOD"? Surely if they study core standard subjects at A Level, they have more oportunities and prospects as an individual, as they have a recognised and accepted qualification, this could lead them into higher education, ie. uni. With vocational job training, there is rarely a formal accreditation given, and if the person is sacked etc, they have no formal accepted qualifications to show their progress or knowledge. Uni and sixth forms provide this.

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    Grades and effort.
    Grades are given two years after starting the course, and how can you moniter complete progress over this period?

    Effort is already mesured by attendance, punctuality etc, amongst other things.

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    It should be an incentive to study in a mature manner to achieve good qualifications and so eventually contribute to the future of our nation.
    So what is your argument? Are you saying people stay on to study "bad" subjects, which deprives the nation?

    How can you measure a mature manner?
    What are good qualifications?

    Your assumption that all EMA students are lazy and "immature" is wrong, surely by your accounts, you yourself are representative of this?

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    It should NOT be an incentive to turn up just to get the money.
    But it is.

    (Original post by Gaz031)
    Those time wasters also place a strain on class sizes and disrupt a mature working enviroment.
    In which case money will be taken from their EMA.
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    (Original post by swishmasta)
    i get ema and am lucky to enjoy its benefits everyweek , £30 a week. so in that way, i can concentrate on my school work and not have to get a job. i see no reason for it to be scrapped as it helps people like me whose parents dont earn as much as other kids. i dont get no pocket money off my rents, so ema helps.
    I think that's one good use of EMA. I see it being abused more often than not though.
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    The majority of 16-18 year olds don't know what they want to do in the future. Thus they may not, in your eyes, make the most of their education. They could, God forbid, take 'mickey mouse' subjects. Things which they enjoy. Why do we all need to make something out of our education? What happened to learning for enjoyment or curiosity?
    If they're relying on public money to do something i think it should be done properly. Is there not a national outcry everytime parliament spends a large amount of money to fail something.

    My Alevels at the moment would only just scrape the EMA hours, yet I'm doing 3 A2s and 1AS (More then most of people in my college. The advise only 3 subjects) I guess my college have managed to teach courses in less time, or focus more on individual learning.
    But at least you're doing 4 proper subjects.
    Are media, key skills and study support proper subjects? I don't think so.

    And when will people stop jumping on the bandwagon of Media Studies being easy or 'mickey mouse'. You consume the media everyday. And it isn't all watching TV as some think.
    It doesn't serve any use. You can get a better job in the media with an English, politics or science degree. The media are highlighting the problem of mickey mouse subjects so they're not going to be more likely to employ someone with that qualification.

    A lot if not all of the Media course is just as complicated as a more academic subject, only there aren't as many numbers/formulas etc.
    I've spoken to someone who does the subject. For his coursework he has to analyse newspapers and write about a childs toy :rolleyes: . Lets step away from this argument anyway. It has been done before, many times.

    How about those that need (or wanted) to get A levels to go on a practial based University course?
    E is still a grade, it is not a fail, it is a pass. If it wasn't worth a boundry being there then the exam boards would not have set one. You may find things easy, other people won't. Even with the most effort, they might not achieve that C you say is so important. It's effort you should reward, not the abliity to perform well in exams. (Which in all honestly only test memory)
    Even if you want to reward effort, how are you going to do so? By the opinions of teachers? What an utterly unreliable method.
    If E is to mean something, then we need to make exams harder.

    It would be very hard for the world as a whole to function without people doing the 'menial' jobs. Who do you think keeps your streets clean? who do you think makes sure that sewage isn't in your drinking water? Who do you think brings you food?
    It would be a very different world if there were people below the people that will 'make a difference'
    The point being the people doing jobs you say are menial don't need to do A-Levels to spend a lot of public money doing poorly.

    In my college it isn't that easy, the teachers don't build up your hopes, or predict you A's when you won't get them. So no, I don't know how easy it is.
    And as for coursework, it is marked by your teacher and then moderated. If any marking is out of line then it would be found.
    A select portion is moderated. Teachers also often give you the coursework back and tell you exactly what to improve.

    It may be a lot of juggling, but it should teach you time management. You need to have this skill for life. As well as prioritising. You are taking 5 A2's... 3 is usually the norm, unless applying for oxbridge where a 4th Alevel is desirable. As most universitys don't accept GenSt why still do it?
    I enjoy it and it doesn't require much effort. However, I still enjoy it and intend to do well in it.

    And you said that you had no need for a job last year, but now you do? If you saved 90% of the EMA last year then why not dip into that to pay for books this year. It seems a bit flawed.
    Don't I need to save money for university as well as buy text books?
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    Little question but why are you buying textbooks? Doesnt the school provide them?
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    You can't be the judge of what is a "GOOD" qualification and what is not.
    Obviously an independent panel should be. It's a problem that we don't have one.

    The whole idea of the EMA system is to encourage people to stay on, obviously most people will not stay on purely for the EMA as they could earn more working full time in a day, then the £30 they are given a week.
    Some people just want leisure. They may not want to work and EMA may seem the easiest way to get money.

    I can't speak of experience as I don't know of anyone one personnally who has received EMA, I do know that for the student to recieve the EMA they must meet certain criteria, such as full attendance and punctuality. They must also complete all work set on time and show progress, and it is the schools duty to uphold and moniter this.
    Fact: There are generally more people claiming EMA in poor schools in disadvantaged areas.
    Fact: These schools do not have the capability to monitor said students. My school doesn't have registration in lessons or even a morning register. We are set no homework.
    How are these schools supposed to monitor that people are fulfilling criteria?

    I think you are generalising that most EMA claimants are getting E's.
    Of course they aren't. I'm just focusing on how EMA is being abused and needs to be altered or tweaked. Of course, some people are putting it to very good use.
    Sorry if i appear extremist. It's just extremely irritating when i see these people reguarly.

    You are assuming that all EMA claimants are simply there for the money. I think you'll find that the majority continue into further educations by choice, regardless of EMA. The figures for people studying A Level pre and post-EMA have not changed dramatically, so your assumption that more are in it for the EMA is wrong.
    I'm just speaking from my experience. However, if even a few are abusing the system it needs to be tweaked. Of course not everyone is abusing it.

    But would you not deem a voacational course not "GOOD"?
    Of course it's good, if they are going to achieve in it.

    Surely if they study core standard subjects at A Level, they have more oportunities and prospects as an individual, as they have a recognised and accepted qualification
    Does an E do this?

    this could lead them into higher education, ie. uni.
    We don't need more people going to university.

    Effort is already mesured by attendance, punctuality etc, amongst other things.
    Feasibility mentioned above.

    So what is your argument? Are you saying people stay on to study "bad" subjects, which deprives the nation?
    I'm saying people shouldn't abuse EMA by going on to do badly in their chosen qualification and not putting significant time and effort in. Should people, for example, be paid to retake GCSEs while they spend some of the daytime in the pub?

    How can you measure a mature manner?
    Not drinking during the day. Working while at sixth form rather than treating it as a place to party or socialise.

    What are good qualifications?
    Something which is going to be of use to society as well as yourself. You should have achieved a good grade so that you are competent at it.

    Your assumption that all EMA students are lazy and "immature" is wrong, surely by your accounts, you yourself are representative of this?
    Of course not. Not even a majority are lazy. It is however, a minority that i see repeatedly abusing the system.

    With vocational job training, there is rarely a formal accreditation given, and if the person is sacked etc, they have no formal accepted qualifications to show their progress or knowledge. Uni and sixth forms provide this.
    A CV shows clearly past experiences and abilities.

    But it is.
    Then we need to make changes.

    In which case money will be taken from their EMA.
    It's all very well saying it but that does not happen.
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    (Original post by frost105)
    Little question but why are you buying textbooks? Doesnt the school provide them?
    Nope. Schools can't provide all books.
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    (Original post by Gaz031)
    Nope.
    Why? They should be. Also why not just get them from the library?
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    (Original post by frost105)
    Why? They should be. Also why not just get them from the library?
    My library doesn't have Mech3/Pure Math/BioA2 textbooks.
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    (Original post by Gaz031)
    My library doesn't have Mech3/Pure Math/BioA2 textbooks.
    Suggets you write to your LEA and governers to complain.

    Further on from your arguement, no one has a right to tell someone on what to spend their ema as the money is for their own use. The system will always be abused, thats life, get over it.
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    (Original post by Gaz031)
    But at least you're doing 4 proper subjects.
    Are media, key skills and study support proper subjects? I don't think so.


    It doesn't serve any use. You can get a better job in the media with an English, politics or science degree. The media are highlighting the problem of mickey mouse subjects so they're not going to be more likely to employ someone with that qualification.


    I've spoken to someone who does the subject. For his coursework he has to analyse newspapers and write about a childs toy :rolleyes: . Lets step away from this argument anyway. It has been done before, many times.
    Yeh, all my subjects are accepted by all universities. That is how I define a proper subject. However you woudln't say that I am doing proper subjects. As if it isn't already obvious I take Media. My coursework certainly wasn't that easy.

    A select portion is moderated. Teachers also often give you the coursework back and tell you exactly what to improve.
    Is that not what mock exams do, tell you where you need to improve?

    Don't I need to save money for university as well as buy text books?
    I haven't bought any text books. There is a college library I can use and many around the city.
    Saving for university, what is stopping you from getting a summer job?

    As for school in underpriviledged areas. It doesn't take much to take a register. You can't blame the area for a school/college not doing this. And I don't know anywhere that does have a morning registration. As long as you turn up to lessons why would you need to be in school? What happens in your lessons aren't until the afternoon (or not at all that they) FE isn't school.
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    Further on from your arguement, no one has a right to tell someone on what to spend their ema as the money is for their own use.
    Then great! Lets reward people for getting low grades or failing with money for alcohol. I'm sure those working hard in jobs and paying taxes are going to love hearing about that in the news.

    The system will always be abused, thats life, get over it.
    God forbid we try to change something.
 
 
 
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