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Detailed Proposals for Raising Leaving Age


The government has set out its proposals for all young people to stay in some form of education or training until their 18th birthday.

Launching the Green Paper, Raising Expectations, Education and Skills Secretary Alan Johnson insisted raising the leaving age would be good for the economy.

The proposals include:

  • From 2013, young people should remain in education or training after 16.

  • Young people would be required to work towards accredited qualifications at school, in a college, or in on the job training or day release.

  • Apprenticeships will be expanded to be available to any qualified young person who wants one.

  • Participation should be full time for young people not in employment for a significant part of the week and part time for those working more than 20 hours a week.

  • A registration system to keep track of the education options a young person has chosen and to make sure they don't drop out.
  • The government plans to raise the leaving age in 2013, meaning that next year's intake to secondary school in England would be the first to have to continue in education or training until 18. By this time, the government said, new diplomas would be in place, alongside the other options of A levels, GCSEs, the International Baccalaureate, apprenticeships, and accredited in work training.

    It said young people would be supported to "re-engage" if they drop out wih enforcement as a “last resort”.

    Johnson said: “This is not about requiring people to stay in school. Young people will be able to choose to stay on full or part time in schools, colleges, work-based learning or in accredited training with an employer.

    “I believe that our future success as a nation depends on the education we provide to our young people. The time has now come for society to consider whether we are letting young people down by allowing them to leave education and training without adequate skills at the age of 16.”


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