School leaving age

The Education and Skills Act 2008 increased the minimum age at which young people in England can leave learning to 18 in 2015.

Young people do not necessarily need to stay in school. They can choose from:

  • part time education or training, if a young person is employed, self-employed, or volunteering for more than 20 hours per week
  • work based learning, such as an apprenticeship
  • full time education, such as school, college or home education

The vast majority of young people already stay in some form of learning, but there are those who are either in a job without training or not in education, employment or training at all.

Being employed is better than being unemployed. However, if young people are in a job that does not offer them any learning, training or development, they are much more likely to be unemployed in the future because they are not gaining many, or any, skills and qualifications that will help them stay in work in the future.

We have a duty to encourage, enable and assist young people to participate in education and training. In Poole, our efforts to make Raising the Participation Age (RPA) happen are co-ordinated by the Bournemouth and Poole 11-19 Team, which works under and across both the Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council.

Page last updated: 02 May 2019
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