The minimum age at which young people in England can leave learning

This means that young people will be expected to remain in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 from 2013 and until their 18th birthday from 2015. This does not mean they need to stay at school.

There are several options available, which include:

  • full-time education (540 hours per year), such as sixth form, college or home education
  • an apprenticeship
  • part-time education or training (280 hours per year) if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for more than 20 hours a week

The majority of young people in Nottingham already choose to continue their education between the ages of 16 and 18, as they recognise the benefits this will bring in terms of improving chances of employability and quality of life. 

The Local Context

The aim for Nottingham is to ensure all young people aged 16 and 17 are undertaking a programme of learning that meets their needs and aspirations from September 2013.

This can be achieved by ensuring all the city's young people receive good quality, impartial and independent careers information, advice and guidance (IAG) - since this will enable them to make informed decisions about their future options, which will increase their chances of a successful transition from Key Stage 4 to 5.

Supporting your child

Your son or daughter will be able to seek advice and guidance on the full range of options available to them through their school.

Finally, if your son or daughter would like professional careers advice they can contact The National Careers Service and speak to an adviser. The helpline is available from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week on 0800 100900. 

Alternatively, they can text messages to 07766 413219 or visit The National Careers Service website.

The Department for Education has also published statutory guidance on the Participation of Young People which can be viewed on the Department's website.

Alternatively, contact Matt Alvey at Nottingham City Council on 0115 876 4784 or email

Useful Links

RPA Awareness Film

Further Information

Further information about Raising the Participation Age can be found on the Department for Education website and in our information leaflets: