School Leaving Age

Raising the Participation Age in England from 16 to 18

Compulsory school age ends on the last Friday in June of the school year where the young person turns 16. After this point the law refers to “participation in education, employment or training.”

It is necessary to let Child Benefit and Tax Credits/Universal Credit know if the young person is continuing in education after compulsory school age.

Statutory guidance last updated October 2016. Please note that in 2011 the Government legislated formally to delay the enforcement provisions in the Education and Skills Act 2008 (“commenced at a point to be decided by the Secretary of State”) and therefore enforcement and sanctions do NOT form part of the current law, although they are in the original Act. This is the reason why on the website they appear as “prospective”.

For young people who are being home educated, no hourly requirement of education applies. The amount and content of the home education is at the discretion of the home educator. In most circumstances it will be the young person themselves who states that they are home educated. If the authority believes there is some doubt in the matter, they may wish to seek confirmation of this from the parent or guardian, but no on- going monitoring of the education is required. If the authority has evidence to suggest that a young person who claims to be home educated is not, then they would be expected to clarify the position with the young person.”