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What is raising the participation age?


Q: Do I have to stay in education until I'm 18?

A. No, but the government has increased the age you must continue in learning. This means that Year 11 students must be in some form of learning until they are 18 years old.

You can choose from the following:

  • Full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider.
  • Full-time work (including working in a family business) or volunteering combined with part-time education/training.
  • An apprenticeship.

Go to the government website for more information.


Q: When is the school leaving date?

A. The official date is the last Friday of June of the school year in which you turn 16.


Q: What are my options after Year 11?

A. Your main options are further education apprenticeships and jobs.

Traineeships are an option if you want to work but need extra help to gain an apprenticeship or job. Traineeships will give you the opportunity to develop the skills and workplace experience that employers require.


Q: Can I get any money if I stay on at school, go to college or start with a training provider?

A. It depends on personal circumstances. The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund is aimed at students who need financial help so that they can stay in learning. The Bursary Fund can help pay for costs like equipment you might need for your course and transport.

Who can apply for a Streetly Academy Bursary?

This is a grant to help Streetly Academy students in financial hardship with essential costs of coming to school, such as travel and equipment. You can apply if

  • You are 16, 17 or 18 on 31st August of year 12/13 and enrolled on a full time course with The Streetly Academy Sixth Form
  • You have the right to live in the UK and have been resident in the UK for the whole of the 3 years to the start of your course – if you have either indefinite leave to enter, or right to remain, in the UK you must provide a copy of your Home Office letter
  • You live in a household where the gross household income for the financial year 2016/17 was less than £22,000


You are identified as a vulnerable learner.

The defined vulnerable groups are: young people in care, including unaccompanied asylum-seeking children; young care leavers; young people getting Income Support or Universal Credit (UC) in place of Income Support in their own right; young people getting Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payments in their own right.​

Please note that to qualify as eligible for a vulnerable student payment the young person does not have to live independently of their parents; they can claim ESA or UC in their own right.  Parents should note that they will not be able to claim Child Benefit for them if the young person’s claim for ESA succeeds.


More information is also on the government website. Additionally, if you’re studying and aged under 20 at the start of your course, Care to Learn can help pay for your childcare costs while you’re learning. More information is on the government website.


Q: I'm not sure what to do after Year 11, what can I do?

A. If you need 1:1 careers advice, see Mrs O'Connor, the school’s careers adviser or Mrs Phillips the sixth form learning mentor. They can help you decide what to do after Year 11.


Q: When should I start applying for courses, apprenticeships and jobs?

A. If staying in further education, aim to apply by Christmas at the latest as some college places fill up before the Christmas holidays! Use UCAS Progress to search for courses, schools, colleges and training providers. Alternatively, go direct to school and college websites. Check the course entry requirements and it is advisable to attend open days/evenings.

Most apprenticeships and jobs are looking for “immediate starts”, so the majority of the opportunities you can go for will be advertised later in Year 11 (such as April onwards). However, some employers recruit early, such as Jaguar Land Rover.

Use the apprenticeship website to create an account and to search and apply for vacancies. You can also set-up alerts for opportunities that interest you. Remember, some apprenticeship areas, such as motor vehicle, electrical work or childcare, are very popular!

If you’re looking for a job, check out the Jobs and voluntary work section.


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