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What is Raising the Participation Age, or RPA for short?

The Government has raised the age at which young people need to continue in education or training. Young people now have to stay in education or training until they are 18. RPA is not about staying in school longer, but about continuing in some kind of learning andit doesn't mean young people can't get a job. Young people have lots of choice about how to do this in the way that suits them best.

This can be:

  • Full-time education (sixth form college, school sixth form, further education college, University Technical College

  • An Apprenticeship or Traineeship

  • Part-time education or training combined with one of the following:

    • Employment or self-employment for 20 hours or more a week

    • Volunteering for 20 hours or more a week

Why have things changed?

Staying in learning after Year 11 will help you get the skills and qualifications that Universities and employers are looking for.

Evidence shows that if you get qualifications at this age, it can help you to earn more over your whole lifetime - on average, young people with 2 or more A-Levels or equivalent Level 3 qualifications earn around 14% more than those without.

You can leave school on the last Friday in June if you'll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays.

Where can I find out more?

Advice and guidance on the full range of options open to you will be available through your school and your Personal Adviser. Talk to your teachers about accessing advice if you want some help thinking through the pros and cons of different options.