Rise in Participation Age

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Young Bournemouth & Poole College students

New choices from age 16

Think you have to stay in school after year 11? Not the case.

The school leaving age hasn’t changed. Instead, you now have a number of new and different choices you can choose from once you’ve finished Year 11.

Raising the Participation Age

To ensure that young people are better prepared for work all students in England will have to continue in education or training beyond their 16th birthday.

By giving you the opportunity to develop the skills you need for adult life and to achieve your full potential, it will improve the level of skills available to businesses to help them to grow.

Am I affected by this?

If you are currently in Year 11 or below, you will now need to continue in education or training until at least the end of the school year in which you turn 18.

Your options

You can decide to:

  • Continue to study a Full-Time course. You could choose to do this at a college, you don’t need to stay at school.
  • Go straight into Full-Time work or volunteering. If you do, you will need to combine this with Part-Time education or training. You could complete your Part-Time course at The College, or you could talk to your employer about their own training schemes.
  • Do an Apprenticeship. At The Bournemouth & Poole College we have a rapidly growing Apprenticeship programme offering the widest possible options with businesses from across the region.
  • Join a Traineeship scheme. Lasting for up to 6 months, Traineeships are for young people who want to work, but who need extra help to gain an Apprenticeship or job.
  • Traineeships will give you the opportunity to develop the skills and workplace experience that businesses require by combining work skills, work experience and functional skills (English and maths).