Salford college pays students £20 just to go to school

After today's news that a college in Salford is paying its students £20 a week just to attend classes, you have to start to wonder whether everyone in this particular northern town is on some sort of pay to stay scheme.

Because you already have all those BBC staff who migrated north with the financial help of licence fee-paying mugs elsewhere, as part of some bizarre bureaucratic anthropology experiment and now kids are being paid a cash incentive just to stay at school.What's wrong with them? Isn't the inducement of actually finding a job and maybe even a career after successfully completing college enough?

Apparently not, because Salford City College has decided to dip into its savings – which are known elsewhere as taxpayers' money – to fund this outrageous new instance of our insidious benefits culture to the tune of £1million so that a bunch of 16-year-olds will continue on at college rather than simply leave school, sign on and stick their hands out for freebies.

Or, of course, work at McDonald's.

It's not as if there isn't help out there for students from struggling families already as A-level and college students from poorer backgrounds can still apply for student bursaries.

But the high-minded school which has clearly disagrees with the Government's decision to scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance has introduced its own means-tested scheme which will see students from families with an income of less than £20,000 be given £20 a week.

The school officials say that most of the 1,000 students expected to receive the payment have said they will use the money on transport.


In a brilliant example of education gobbledygook, the college principal, Martin Smith, said: "'It is important that the aspirations of young people are not cut short in their quest for personal development."

Surely, it's better to meet those aspirations with quality education, training and a real-world view of what awaits these students rather than simply introducing them to the ins and outs of how to milk our incentive-sapping benefits culture, of which young people are already too aware.

Give me strength.

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