Education or training at 16 and 17
Did you know that from the last day of the school year in July 2013, you will have to stay in education or training until the end of the academic year in which you turn 17?
It will increase again, and from September 2015 all young people will be required to stay in education or training until their 18th birthday.
This is known as raising the participation age (RPA) - the Government’s new policy to give all young people the opportunity to develop their skills and qualifications, and supporting them to secure employment or progress to higher education.
What does this mean for me?
- If you are currently in Year 11, you will be the first to continue your education or training for another academic year once you have left secondary education.
- If you are currently in Year 10 or below, you will have to stay in education or training until your 18th birthday.
What are the education or training options?
When you leave secondary education, there are lots of options available. You can choose from:
- full-time education at college, sixth form college or school sixth form
- work based learning, such as an apprenticeship or foundation learning
- part-time education or training if you are employed, self employed or volunteer for 20 or more hours a week.
Why should I stay in education or training longer?
Staying in education or training will mean that you will be more qualified, which will give you better job prospects in the future. There is also a big pay gap between people with qualifications, and those without.
Deciding what to do
It is important that you take the time to research which option is best for you.
- What learning style suits you best? Do you like being in a classroom? Do you prefer practical subjects? Do you prefer exams or course work, or possibly a mixture of both?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses? What subjects do you enjoy?
- What would you like to do in the future? Think about where the course, work based learning or job will take you.
Speak to your parents/carers, teachers and careers adviser to help you decide what to do. Don’t choose courses just because your friends are choosing them.