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School leaving age

From Summer 2013, all young people have to stay in some form of training or education until the end of the academic year in which they become 17. This means that the young people born from September 1995 onwards will have to stay in education or training until they are at least 17. From 2015, young people will have to stay in education or training until their 18th birthday. This is known as raising the participation age.

The choices after Year 11

The changes do not mean that you have to stay on at school, academy or sixth form, you can move on to –

  • full time academic or vocational courses - You could do this at a school, academy, sixth form or college
  • apprenticeships or other work based learning route
  • employment with accredited training - You can be employed for more than 20 hours per week and undertake at least one day's part time study a week alongside your employment.

For more information visit the Department for Education website (link opens in a new window)

Making a good choice now will –

  • help you improve your knowledge, skills and qualifications
  • open up further opportunities for more training and education
  • improve your chances of getting the job you want
  • give you the chance to earn more
  • help you succeed in what you want to do

Getting help to decide the next step

Don’t worry! There's lots of places to get help -