The coalition government's decision to phase out the education maintenance allowance (EMA) has been criticised by a schoolboy speaking at the National Union of Teachers' conference in Harrogate.
Joe Cotton, a 15-year-old pupil from Calder High School, in West Yorkshire, said that many students rely on the payments of up to £30 a week to continue their education.
He suggested that if even one person was not able to carry on through sixth-form because of their family income, then the government would have fundamentally failed in its responsibility to provide basic education to all.
"Do all you can to help keep education accessible and affordable for my generation - and I promise that I'll go home and start my GCSE revision," the student said.
He also cited a letter to the Guardian, co-signed by nine leading economists in March, which called for the government to maintain EMA payments in order to reduce unemployment rates among young people.