Following a Commons vote yesterday, access by 17-18 year olds in England to the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), that supports student to stay in school/college after age 16 is closed to new applicants from now on, then to be withdrawn for existing recipients in September. The means-tested £10-£30 allowance used to be a bursary of £40 but it is now gone completely. This is not gone without significant opposition though – see Nottingham Indymedia with photos of Nottingham students’ protest on 19th Jan:
http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/910 following several other demonstrations starting last year.
Watch TV footage of the demo on ITV website including an attempt to ‘storm’ the council house prevented by police (there’s always another time!!): http://www.itv.com/central-west/fighting-ema-cuts95064/
Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have their own EMA schemes which are still open but these are also under review (see Scotland example).
More info, and forthcoming events: Nottingham Students Against Fees and Cuts (NSAFC). School, college and university students are continuing to oppose cuts and rises in fees.