Blackburn College has introduced a range of innovative measures to fight back against the EMA replacement dubbed ‘inadequate’ by Barnardo’s.

The North West college has implemented a fixed £10 per term travel pass, a free hot breakfast, free uniforms, equipment and kit, subsidised healthy lunch for 16-18’s and financial assistance towards the cost of essential trips for the 2,400 students who need it.

The measures follow a report by children’s charity Barnardo’s which says students from poor backgrounds are dropping out of college or skipping meals because the government’s education grant is ‘insufficient’.

Ian Clinton, principal of Blackburn College, said: “It’s a disgrace that some students are now being forced to skip meals in order to afford the bus to college.

“I don’t believe it is fair that young people should be discouraged from learning because of increased costs caused by the recent and on-going government cuts. ”

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