Getting to college on time

MARK NOBLE
MARK NOBLE
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A COLLEGE has come up with a new way to make sure students turn up to lectures on time.

East Durham College has presented more than 250 of its students with a £20 reward for achieving a 100 per cent attendance record and 99 per cent or above punctuality to lectures during their first term.

The college, which has campuses in Peterlee and Durham City, introduced its Attend & Earn award as part of a raft of measures to help students.

It comes following the Government’s decision in January last year to scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) provided to students on college courses.

College bosses say the scheme is also being run during the two remaining terms of this academic year and urged students to boost their attendance to put themselves in line for the award.

The college also vastly expanded its free bus services, as the majority of students used the EMA payments for transport to get to college.

Mark Moore, director of student services, said: “We felt it was important to introduce a number of initiatives as over 70 per cent of our students received EMA.

“We are delighted that so many managed to meet the attendance target and received the new payment. We will be offering similar incentives for the next two terms so students have the chance to continue to earn while they learn.

Easington MP Grahame Morris praised the new scheme as it allows people from disadvantaged areas to remain in education.

He said: “The decision of the coalition government to scrap EMA was an attack on the aspirations of young people across the North-East and flies in the face of promises to improve social mobility.

“I welcome the response of East Durham College to this difficult situation to provide their own support for disadvantaged young people to continue in education.”