Take this Polly Toynbee article from last November, defending the Educational Maintenance Allowance:
EMA ought to sit comfortably with Conservative thinking. Pupils who miss a class, are late or don't do homework lose EMA for the whole week.This might sit comfortably with Conservative thinking, but it ought to worry anyone who is not a Conservative. It seems extraordinary to boast that the policy you are defending imposes severe sanctions on teenagers from less affluent homes and those teenagers alone.
You could say it is better to receive an allowance with those conditions than not to receive one at all. But that is not the choice that less affluent teenagers should be faced with.
I hope that a more reasonable approach will be taken when the more tightly focused replacement for the EMA is unveiled.