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Education Maintenance Allowance

EMA is an allowance of £30 per week, depending on household income. Students on Activity Agreements (HYPE agreements), are Home Educated, attend Donaldsons or Moorehouse or estranged from parents or in care of the authority can also be paid.

Get your Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

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

  • attend a school in the West Lothian Council area, or
  • you are on an Activity Agreement (HYPE)

College students should contact their college directly to apply for EMA.

School applications for the current 2023/2024 academic year closed on 31 March 2024. Any school application submitted after this date will not be accepted. Applications for HYPE can still be accepted.

We are not yet in a position to accept applications for the forthcoming 2024/2025 academic year, please keep checking this page for updates.

Education Maintenance Allowance - Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that a fresh application must be submitted each academic year.

To apply for Education Maintenance Allowance, you'll need to complete both the application form and a learning agreement.

The application form can be completed by either the student or their parent/guardian, and includes an eligibility checker at the start. College students should contact their college directly to apply for EMA.

If you require help completing an application you can email the Families and Young Peoples Advice Service fypas@westlothian.gov.uk who would be happy to assist.

Check Eligibility and Apply

Once you've submitted your application, you also need to complete a learning agreement. This should be completed by the student, and is an agreement between the student and the school.

Complete your Learning Agreement (opens new window)

The application and learning agreement need to be submitted by 30 September 2023 if you were born between 1 March 2004 and 30 September 2007, or by 29 February 2024 if you were born between 1 October 2007 and 29 February 2008 in order to receive backdated payments to the start of term, otherwise payments will be made from the point the application is received. No school application can be accepted after 31 March 2024.

If you are in foster care, you do not need to complete an application form. Please email EducationBenefits@westlothian.gov.uk to apply for EMA. You will need to give your name, address, school, and bank account details. You will also need to provide proof of placement by way of a letter from Social Work and complete a Learning Agreement (opens new window)

You may be entitled to other benefits Social Security Scotland - Benefits (opens new window)

Families and Young Peoples Advice Service

Please use this link if you would like a financial health check and support to make sure your income is maximised www.westlothian.gov.uk/families-financial-support

Data Protection law gives you a number of rights including the right to make a complaint about the handling of your personal information. Complaints should be submitted to the Information Commissioner's Office or the Council's Data Protection Officer. Further details can be found on the Data Protection Section of our website.