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Continuing your learning

Did you know that the Government has raised the age young people can legally leave education from 16 years old? This means you will now be required to participate in education or training for longer. This initiative is known as 'raising the participation age' (RPA).

From September 2013 those aged 16 (or those currently in Year 11 at school) will have to continue in education, training, or employment with training, until at least the end of the academic year in which they turn 17.

From September 2015 those aged 17 (or those currently in Year 10 at school) will have to participate until at least their 18th birthday.


This does not necessarily mean staying in school. Young people will 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

You are legally required to take responsibility for your future with support and guidance from your parents or carers.

Help available

There are sources of help you can look to:

  • Schools are now responsible for securing independent careers guidance in years 9–11 (to be extended to years 8–13 from September 2013).

  • You can contact trained advisers for impartial advice at the National Careers Service.

  • The 16–19 Bursary Fund gives financial support to help with essential education-related costs like transport, a lunchtime meal or any equipment you might need for your course.


Participation Team