Raising the Participation Age

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.

Raising the Participation Age

Do I have to stay in school?

No – there are a number of different options you can take when you reach the end of Year 11, including full-time education at The Bedford Sixth Form, work-based learning (such as an Apprenticeship or traineeship), and even full-time work or volunteering – 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. We offer a range of study options to prepare you for university or work.

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 and education 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 Sixth Form you will be expected to meet our expectations in terms of your work, attendance and conduct.

A platform for success

At The Bedford Sixth Form, we’re fully focused on where you want to go next, helping you to achieve the academic success that secures your place at university – each year, a large majority of our students go on to study at degree-level at universities across the UK.

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