Raising the Participation Age: Staying in doesn’t have to mean staying on
The government has raised the participation age, which means that from 2015 all young people must stay in education or training until they are 18.
Do I have to stay in school?
No. Staying on at school isn’t the only option you can take. Here at Bedford College, your education and training options are vast. We offer hundreds of full-time programmes of study and work-based learning opportunities (such as an apprenticeships and traineeships). You can also work or volunteer – as long as you’re doing at least 20 hours a week and combining this with part-time training that leads to an accredited qualification. Bedford College also offers a wide range of part-time professional qualifications.
What help can Bedford College offer?
If you, or your son or daughter, is unsure what route in education to take, our Student Services team can offer completely impartial advice to ensure what and where they study is exactly right for them. Access free careers advice.
Why have things changed?
New jobs are being created all of the time and many will be more complicated and demanding in future years. This means that employers are now looking for people with relevant skills and qualifications to fill their roles. The more education and training you have, the more likely you are to get the job you want. The new changes mean that every school leaver will get the opportunity to improve their career prospects after they turn 16.
What does this mean for you?
The legal requirement to participate in learning after 16 rests with you. This is because the government knows that, at 16, young people are starting to take responsibility for decisions that will affect their future. It also means that you need to research your options carefully. You will still need to fulfil any course entry requirements, including demonstrating to us that you are interested in your chosen programme of study. Once you have joined the College you will be expected to meet our expectations in terms of your work, attendance and conduct.