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Your Borough Of Poole

School Leaving Age

Raising the Participation Age


What is Raising the Participation Age (RPA)?

The Education and Skills Act 2008 increased the minimum age at which young people in England can leave learning to 18 in 2015. 

So does that mean you’re raising the school leaving age?

Not exactly! Young people don’t necessarily need to stay in school. They can choose from one of the following:

  • Part-time education or training, if a young person is employed, self-employed, or volunteering for more than 20 hours per week
  • Work-based learning, such as an Apprenticeship
  • Full-time education, such as school, college or home education

Lots of young people already do these things after 16.

That’s right. The vast majority of young people already do stay in some form of learning, but there are those who are either in a job without training or not in education, employment or training at all.

Surely if a young person can get a job at all, that’s good enough in this recession.

Being employed is better than being unemployed. However, if young people are in a job that doesn’t offer them any learning, training or development, they are much more likely to be unemployed in the future because they aren’t gaining many – or any – skills and qualifications that will help them stay in work in the future.

What does this have to do with the Borough of Poole?

Local authorities have a duty to encourage, enable and assist young people to participate in education and training. In Poole, our efforts to make RPA happen are co-ordinated by the Bournemouth and Poole 14-19 Partnership, which works under and across both the Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council.

What are you doing to make sure RPA happens, and how can I find out more?

For more info, visit our website – www.14-19matters.co.uk

Contact us


01202 458996


Bournemouth & Poole 14-19 Team

1st Floor, Kinson Hub, Wimborne Road, Bournemouth, BH11 9AW