All young people are expected to stay in some form of learning until they are 18.

This does not just mean staying in school - young people will be able to choose the best route for their career plans, including:

  • Full-time education at school, college or with a training provider
  • Work-based learning, such as an Apprenticeship or Traineeship
  • Part-time education or training which leads to an accredited qualification if you are employed, self-employed or volunteering full-time (ie, more than 20 hours a week)

The Government has not raised the school leaving age and no-one will be forced to stay in school or college. Your local council is responsible for making sure you have an offer of a place in education or training that is right for you.

The benefits of continuing in learning

The Government wants to encourage young people to participate because it gives them the best chance to get the skills and knowledge that Universities and employers are looking for.

Young people who continue in education are more likely to achieve higher level qualifications, which helps them earn more over their lifetime. On average, young people with 2 or more A-Levels earn around 14% more than those without.

Financial support to continue in learning

If you need financial support to help you continue in learning, the 16-19 Bursary Fund can help young people who need the most help (eg, those in care, teenage parents and those with a disability) to apply for help with costs like transport or essential course equipment.

Schools and colleges also have discretionary funding which they can use to provide bursaries to anyone they think needs the extra support to continue their education.

For further information

To search the courses and qualifications that are available at schools, colleges and sixth forms in your area, visit the GOV.UK website.