Local MP Bridget Phillipson has hit out against Coalition governments plans to scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
EMA is a means tested allowance of between £10-£30 paid to 16-19 years olds who stay on in further education. The allowance is intended to help pay for books, travel and any equipment needed for study.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has announced plans to scrap the allowance, which supports over 90,000 young people. This is already in addition to cutting over 735 schools building projects, including the rebuilding of Hetton School, which has affected around 700,000 pupils in communities across the country.
Bridget was one of the early recipients of EMA and supports moves to save the grant from the Tory/Libdem cuts.
Bridget said: "I took part in the original pilot for EMAs and I know how much of a difference it made to my life and my family and all the young people I was at school with.
"Receiving that extra money allows young people to stay on in education and go on to higher education and whether I would be here today as an MP without EMA remains to be seen.
"It was a massive help to me and many of the young people I was at school with.
"If we see the EMAs scrapped what we will have is far more youth unemployment and young people unable to go into higher education."
You can read more about the cutting of EMA in the Mirror, by clicking here.
Sign the petition on the save EMA website here.