East London children will be paid £400 to stay in school and complete their studies under an educational scheme reintroduced by a local council.

Tower Hamlets mayor Lutfur Rahman announced on Wednesday (October 26) that 1,250 pupils aged 16 and over will receive £400 for the entire academic year to support them with their studies amid a cost of living crisis. This works out at around £10 a week during term time.

The scheme is part of the council’s £1.1 million Education Maintenance Allowance and University Bursary Awards and will be paid to eligible students for the 2022/23 academic year.

A total of 400 university students can also apply for a £1,500 bursary to help them with their living costs while studying for an undergraduate degree.

The mayor, who represents the Aspire Party, said: “I am delighted to announce the Education Maintenance Allowance and University Bursary Award schemes that will help minimise the financial challenges for young people pursuing further education.

“Education is very close to my heart and supporting lifelong learning is a priority for my administration. It is vital that young people are supported to reach their full potential and given the tools and opportunities to become the future leaders of the next generation.”

The Education Maintenance Allowance was first introduced by Tony Blair’s Labour Government and paid school kids aged 16 to 19 up to £30 per week to stay in full-time education. Under this scheme, students could get more than £1,000 across the year.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still run the scheme, but it was stopped in England in 2010 under the Coalition government led by David Cameron and Nick Clegg.

Tower Hamlets has become the first local authority in England to reintroduce a similar scheme, which was voted in by the council’s cabinet last Wednesday (October 26).

Young people must be aged 16 to 19, on a full-time study programme at Sixth Form or college, from a household income below £25,000 and have lived in Tower Hamlets for at least three years in order to receive the money.

University students can apply for the £1,500 bursary if they are aged under 24 or under 25 if they have a SEN statement, come from a household where the income is below £25,000 and have lived in the borough for three years.

Refugees, on the Ukraine or Afghan scheme, can also apply for the grants if they meet the threshold.

Applications will open on November 1, 2022, and will close on January 1, 2023. The mayor said payments will be backdated to September 2022.