IN response to Jill Knight’s letter “Education grant adjustment unfair on youngsters”, Gazette, April 6.

Withdrawal of Education Mainenance Allowance (EMA) funding has put children and parents in an impossible predicament.

Do they carry on their education knowing that is might not be possible? Or do they try to find a job, which is almost impossible in these unforgiving times, especially for youngsters fresh out of school?

EMA was an extremely effective way of encouraging students to continue with their education. In May last year, the NUS asked 1,600 sixth form students if they would be able to continue study without receiving EMA and 55 per cent said they would not.

The “replacement” for EMA includes a substantial cut of £380 million from the original £590 million budget.

It is stated that the EMA payment will increase for the 12,000 poorer students, but this increase equates to a measly 77p a week. The remaining £180 million would be put into a “discretionary fund” given directly to sixth forms and colleges, to distribute as they see fit, which under intense sixth form cuts, could see this money soaked up, with none of it seeing a student’s bank account.

I leave you with a thought. Do you think it’s fair that funding for more than 650,000 hard-working, deserving students is simply stopped, while money is being poured into the government’s pet project of ‘free schools’?

Sam Prest, Sixth form student, Malton.