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The 16 to 19 bursary fund: impact evaluation

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The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) was a cash transfer worth up to £1,200 per year, paid to 16- to 19-year-olds from low-income households conditional on postcompulsory education participation. It was abolished in England and replaced with the “16 to 19 Bursary Fund” in September 2011.  The Institute of Education and the Institute for Fiscal Studies were commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) to undertake a statistical impact analysis of this reform. This report provides estimates of the policy’s impact on participation and attainment during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 academic years, and provides a cost–benefit analysis of the policy taking into account effects on lifetime earnings and exchequer tax receipts and benefit payments. 

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In the latest flagship IFS ‘Annual Report on Education Spending in England’, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, researchers look at the challenges posed by COVID-19 for the education sector.