By 2012 around 92% of 16 and 17 year olds chose to continue in education. The Government is increasing the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training, requiring them to continue until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 from 2013 and until their 18th birthday from 2015.
This means that pupils who left Year 11 in summer 2013 need to continue in education or training until at least the end of the academic year in which they turn 17. Pupils starting Year 11 or below in September 2013 will need to continue until at least their 18th birthday.
This is not about raising the school leaving age. It does not necessarily mean staying in school; young people have a choice about how they continue in education or training post- 16, which could be through:
- Full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider
- Full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training
- An apprenticeship
Why are things changing?
We want to give all young people the opportunity to develop skills and qualifications that will open doors to future employment, help them make the most of their potential, and earn more over their lifetime.
Evidence shows that achieving qualifications at this age can help to boost a young person’s prospects for life – for instance, young people with 2 or more A-Levels earn around 14% more than those without.
What does this mean for me?
The legal requirement to participate will be on your son or daughter. This is because we know that, at 16, young people are starting to make – and take responsibility for – the decisions that affect their future.
However, we also know that your children will look to you for advice and support as they make these decisions and you will want to do all you can to support them to make the right decisions for them as they choose between their education and training options.
We know that making choices about education and training can be a challenge, so, from September 2012, we have placed a new duty on schools to secure access to independent careers guidance for pupils in school years 8-11, which must:
- Be presented in an impartial manner
- Include information on the full range of post-16 education or training options, including Apprenticeships; and
- Promote the best interests of the pupils to whom it is given
This will make sure that your child will receive support to help them make informed choices.
Where can I find out more?
More information on RPA is available at:
The National Careers Service website makes it easy for both adults and young people to access information and advice about education, training and work. The website is at:
Young people and parents can speak to an appropriately qualified adviser by contacting the helpline which is available from 8.00am to 10pm, seven days a weeks on 0800 100 900, or for text messages on 07766413219.
At The Hawthorne’s Free School you can contact Mr. Williams or Mrs. Wise for further advice, guidance or support on 0151 922 3798 or firstname.lastname@example.org