Depending on your household income, you may be eligible for financial support such as EMA, FCF and Free School Meals.

Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA)

EMA Applications are Now Online

You should apply online by creating an account or signing in, if you’ve already created one. It should only take around 30 minutes. Please use this link

If you cannot apply online, you’ll need to fill out a paper form instead.

There are guidance notes to help you fill in the form.


What is EMA?

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a weekly payment of £40 to help 16-18 year olds with the costs of further education. Payments are made every 2 weeks as long as you meet your school or college’s attendance, performance and behaviour requirements.

To find out more about EMA, Click here for The Little Book of EMA

Application Guidance

Please use this guidance document when completing your application.

Click here for the guidance notes


EMA Payment Dates

Click here for more information


EMA is usually paid directly into your bank account. If you don’t have a bank account, you’ll need to open one which can accept BACS payments. We won’t pay to someone else’s account.

Payments are made on a Monday, fortnightly.

Please check the payment timetable for payment dates.

There may be occasional changes to payment dates depending on bank holidays etc.

No – You will only be paid for weeks in which the school is open, so you will not be paid for holiday weeks. In-service days or emergency closures (due to bad weather etc.) are not considered holidays for EMA purposes, and payment can be still made as long as your attendance is 100% for the rest of that week.

If you’ve not received a payment or you have received less than you were expecting, you should contact Mrs Eriksen in Student Services or via If unavailable contact Mr Price in Reception, he can also be contacted via

They will be able to tell you why you have not been approved. You must make sure that your school is properly notified with evidence of any and all absences.

If the school cannot resolve the issue you can contact the EMA Assessment Team for further assistance.

If you are absent for any reason your parent/guardian must notify Mrs Eriksen or Mr Price as soon as possible with the reasons why. This must be submitted in writing to along with relevant and sufficient evidence. This should be done no later than 10 days after the initial absence.

Payments will be authorised for the following absences if relevant evidence has been provided by a parent/guardian:

  • Sickness – Diarrhoea and Vomiting, up to 48 hours, beyond this further evidence must be provided. Period pains will not be authorised unless medical evidence is provided. Any other illnesses with evidence from parent/guardian up to 5 days.
  • Driving Test – Authorised with evidence.
  • Driving Lessons – Should be arranged during free lessons and therefore will not be authorised. Lessons taking place immediately before driving test will be authorised with evidence.
  • University Interviews – Up to 2 hours unless a specific time frame is highlighted with evidence. If the interview can be conducted online please contact Mrs Eriksen/Mr Price to arrange a room.
  • Job Interviews – Should be arranged during free lessons and therefore will not be authorised.
  • Carer Related Absences – All carers should tick ‘extenuating circumstances’ when completing the learning agreement and provide evidence of their carer status at the beginning of the academic year. Looking after siblings or taking siblings to school/appointments will not be authorised.
  • Work Training/Meetings/Trips – Should be arranged during free lessons and therefore will not be authorised.
  • Bereavement – This will be taken on a case to case basis. Please ensure you inform Mrs Eriksen/Mr Price for any support or guidance.
  • Holidays – Any holidays booked during term will not be authorised. Please refer to the term dates for the upcoming year.

Doctor/Dentist/Orthodontist/Ophthalmologist Appointment – For any medical appointment we require proof in the following format:

  • Name of student, Name of person they are seeing, Date and Time.
  • This needs to be on headed paper or a headed appointment card – We will not accept any appointment cards that have previous appointments listed.
  • We will also accept full screenshots of any appointments made online or over the phone, these must be original screenshots from the appointment centre and not forwarded from an external source i.e. family or friends.

Inform Mr Price at Reception before you leave and email your pastoral tutor.

Are you currently aware of any extenuating circumstances that may affect your attendance (for example, you help to provide care for a family member who is ill or disabled)? You should inform your college if you become aware at any time of extenuating circumstances that may affect your attendance.

FCF - Financial Contingency Fund

FCF is a Welsh Government Fund to be used to financially support students during their time at St Davids Catholic College. 

It is means tested on household income of up to £29,999


If you are in receipt of EMA you are automatically eligible, although you still need to apply

The fund is a discretionary award that enables the College to assist you with a contribution towards:

  • Travel
  • Disability costs
  • Essential course equipment
  • Essential educational visits
  • Subsidised meals from college catering outlets
  • Examination fees
  • Childcare costs
  • Accommodation or living costs for students living independently

If you are having financial problems and your circumstances change which could affect your attendance at college, FCF can offer further support.


Please contact a member of the team for further advice 

Before applying, please read the guidance notes below:

Guidance Notes



Free School Meals

Students will get free school meals if their family receives:​

  • Income Support
  • Income Related Employment Support Allowance
  • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Guarantee Element of State Pension Credit
  • Child Tax Credit with an income less than £16,190
  • Universal Credit if the net household earnings are less than £7400

All documentation relating to the application for a grant, bursaries or financial assistance to individual applicants, is published in Welsh and English. Applicants can be submitted in Welsh and are treated no less favourably than applications submitted in English.

If it is necessary to interview individual applicants for grants or financial assistance, interviews are available in Welsh or applicants who applied in Welsh, using simultaneous interpretation if required. If an application for a grant or financial assistance is submitted in Welsh, we inform the applicant of the outcome of our decision in Welsh.

When making a decision in relation to the award of a grant or financial assistance e consider the effects such an award or assistance would have on the opportunities for the applicants and others to use the Welsh language and ensure that our decision would neither reduce opportunities for persons to use the language nor cause adverse effects. The decision may be taken or implemented (for example, by imposing conditions) so that it would have positive effects, or increased positive effects, on opportunities for applicants to use the Welsh language.