Changes to the leaving age

All young people are now required to be in education or training until they are 18.

Raising of the Participation Age (RPA)

In the past, young people could leave education when they were 16, but the government has changed this. Those leaving year 11 from 2014 will need to remain in learning until their 18th birthday.

Further information can be found in our PDF file downloadinformation leaflet on RPA (PDF, 1643kb).

Why change the leaving age?

The world of work is changing. New jobs are being created and many will be more complicated and demanding. Employers will be looking for people with more skills, training and qualifications. By staying in learning you can achieve the qualifications you need to help you succeed.

You will also have more chance to develop the knowledge and practical skills that employers are looking for. That means you’ll find it easier to get a better job, with better pay and career prospects. In fact, why stop at 18? You can carry on in higher education or training after you are 18 to improve your chances even further.

Does this mean staying at school until 18?

No, it’s not just about staying at school. You will be able to choose from school sixth form, college, apprenticeships, work with training or volunteering.

Further information

Information for employers
Information for parents


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