Skill Young people’s website


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Staying in Education or training until you are 18

In 2008, a new law was passed that makes important changes for all young people in England. The new law is called the Education and Skills Act 2008. It says that by 2013, all young people in England have to stay on in education or training at least part-time until they are 17 years old. By 2015, all young people will have to stay on in education or training at least part-time, until they are 18 years old.

This means that young people are required to participate in education or training through either:

  • full-time education or training, including school, college and home education;
  • work-based learning, such as an Apprenticeship, or
  • part-time education or training or volunteering more than 20 hours a week.

It is important that you feel prepared and informed about this change and that you feel supported in making choices and achieving.

There are many options for you to choose from at 16.

You could stay at school and do your GSCEs and A levels. You could start an apprenticeship and get some experience of work and training. You could improve your skills through taking a course on Foundation Learning. You could gain some practical experience in a subject that interests you by doing a 14-19 diploma.

These web pages will tell you a bit about all of your options. You will be able to find out about other young people’s experiences both good and bad.

Hopefully, these web pages will help you feel confidant and excited about making choices about your learning.