ATL comment on the Equality and Human Rights Commission view of the legality of the abolition of the education maintenance allowance (EMA)
14 May 2012
Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:
"The abolition of the education maintenance allowance in 2010 was yet another instance of the coalition government making it harder for less advantaged children to succeed.
"Before Michael Gove makes speeches blaming schools for the huge inequality in educational achievement in England he should look to the record of his own government.
"The abolition of the EMA was at best foolish and at worst vindictive, doing nothing to help the one million plus 16 - 24 years olds currently out of work.
"To make matters worse, the Equality and Human Rights Commission cannot be sure whether the abolition was discriminatory against ethnic minorities and those with disabilities and therefore illegal under equalities legislation (the public sector equality duty under the 2010 Equalities Act)."
Notes to editors
The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) is an independent, registered trade union and professional association, representing approximately 160,000 teachers, headteachers, lecturers and support staff in maintained and independent nurseries, schools, sixth form, tertiary and further education colleges in the United Kingdom.
ATL exists to help members, as their careers develop, through first rate research, advice, information and legal advice.
ATL is affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE) and Education International (EI). ATL is not affiliated to any political party and seeks to work constructively with all the main political parties.