Keep on Learning - information for parents/carers
Raising the Participation Age (RPA) came into effect from summer 2013. This now affects all young people leaving school.
What is RPA?
The Government is raising the age at which young people are required to participate in education or training.
If they are currently in Year 11 or below, they will have to continue until at least their 18th birthday.
This does not necessarily mean they will have to stay on at school after Year 11. They will still be able to work full-time if they choose to. They will have a choice about how they want to participate post-16. This could be through:
- full-time education, such as school or college
- work-based learning such as an Apprenticeship
- part-time education or training if they are employed, self employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week
Why make this change?
The Government wants to give all young people the opportunity to develop the skills they need for adult life and to achieve their full potential.
Participating in learning for longer means young people are more likely to get the skills and qualifications that will open doors to future employment. It will help them make the most of their potential and earn more over their lifetime.
Evidence shows that not being in education, employment or training at age 16-18 means young people are more likely to be unemployed, earn less, have a criminal record and suffer from poor health and depression over their lifetime.
What does this mean for you?
The legal requirement to participate will be on your son or daughter. At 16, young people should be starting to make, and take responsibility for, the decisions that affect their future.
However, we also know that your children look to you for advice and support as they make these decisions. We know that you will want to do all you can to
Support your children to make the right decision for them as they choose between their education and training options
Making choices about education and training can be a challenge, so your child will receive support to help them choose well. The careers information they will receive includes options information from school and online resources. Your child will receive careers advice and guidance from many people, including their subject teachers, careers co-ordinators or careers advisers. This will help them to think through their ideas and weigh up the pros and cons of different options.