Raising the participation age

Information about why young people are required to stay in education until they are 18 years of age.

It is government policy that all young people are expected to stay in some form of learning until they are 18.

Young people can choose from the following options:

  • Full-time education (e.g. school, sixth form college, or further education college)
  • Work based learning (e.g. apprenticeships)
  • Part-time education or training if they are employed, self employed or volunteering for over 20 hours a week


Employment prospects require an increasing level of skills, training and qualifications. By staying in education for longer young people will be better equipped to pursue successful careers.

Information for young people

The more training and qualifications you have, the higher your chance of getting and keeping a good job that you enjoy in the future.

To help you make a decision about what you want to do after Year 11 you should:

  • talk to your parents or carers
  • talk to your teachers, tutors and careers advisers

Visit the National Careers Service's website to access information and advice about education, training and work.

You can also contact their helpline which is open 7 days a week between 8am to 10pm, call 0800 100 900 or text 07766 413 219.

There is also lots of information, advice and support for young people about careers and learning on The Source website for young people in Suffolk

Information for parents and carers


Unfortunately there is no entitlement to home to school transport from the age of 16.

Suffolk County Council offer a subsidised transport scheme for students at sixth form, sixth form colleges or further education colleges. All details and costs are explained on the Suffolk on Board website.

Financial support

A national bursary scheme is in place to help 16 to 19 year olds in full-time education or training who are in need of financial support.

This includes support if the young person is:

  • in care
  • a care leaver
  • claiming income support
  • disabled and receiving Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance

Some funding may also be available to other students to help with course related costs (e.g. transport and food).

For details of specific bursary schemes please ask the school, sixth form or colleges that you/your child attends, or visit GOV.UK for general information.