THE education Maintenance Allowance is Government cash given to 16 to 18-year-olds who are in education.

Eligible teenagers get either £10, £20 or £30 a week during term-time, depending on their parents’ income, which is paid straight into their bank accounts.

The top £30 rate is paid to those from families earning under £20,817 per year, while the bottom rate of £10 is paid to those from families earning £25,522 to £30,810.

To qualify for EMA, young people must be enrolled on either a full-time further education course at school or college, studying for a diploma or course that leads to an apprenticeship, or a Foundation Learning Programme.

The cash is only paid if students regularly attend and do their work, and there are bonuses at Christmas and the end of the year if they have 100 per cent attendance records.

The Government is closing EMA to new applicants from January, and has said those already getting it will only continue receiving it until the end of the academic year.