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Future learning

11 September 2018

The government has introduced changes to the age at which young people can leave education or training.  If you are in Year 11 or below, the change means you’ll have to remain in learning until at least your 18th birthday.

Is school my only option?

No, there are a number of options to choose from:
  • Full-time study at school sixth form college

  • Full-time work, self-employment or volunteering combined with part-time study

  • Part-time education or training while in work, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours a week or more

  • An apprenticeship

  • Traineeships leading to full-time apprenticeships or college

Why has this happened?

Participating in education or training beyond the age of 16 offers you the opportunity to get qualifications and experience that can significantly increase your prospects of future employment and earnings. According to the government:

  • people with five or more GCSEs at grade 9 - 4 earn, on average, 9 - 11% more than those without
  • getting two or more A-levels leads to men earning £80,000 and women £110,000 more over the course of their lifetime than someone whose highest attainment is five or more GCSEs at grade 9 - 4
  • getting a level 3 apprenticeship increases earnings by an estimated £105,000 and a level 2 apprenticeship by £73,000.

I have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) what does that mean for me?

If you have an EHCP you will have had  contact with an Information Advice and Guidance adviser from the Children and Young People with Disabilities service since year 9. They will have talked to you about your thoughts and plans for the future. During your last year at school your adviser will set out what support you will need to carry on in education, whether that’s going to college, starting training or seeking employment.

What if I'm educated at home?

The Department for Education states:

"For young people who are being home educated, no hourly requirement of education applies: the amount and content of that 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."

You can find out more information such as useful links, contacts, and answers to frequently asked questions on the Essex County Council website Home Education.

If you're educated at home and would like to talk about your post-16 options in Essex you can contact the Employability & Skills team on 0800 707 6384.

Where can I find out more information?

If you're at school or college your careers teacher or adviser can provide information. You can also attend college open events.

If you're unemployed and would like to speak to a Level 6 Qualified Careers Guidance Adviser to discuss your options, please call our Employability & Skills Team on 0800 707 6384 to be referred to your local adviser or check out what's your thing.

The National Careers Service provides careers information and impartial advice through webchat, text or telephone. Calls are free from a landline. If you call from a mobile an adviser can ring you back so you won’t be charged. Call 0800 100 900 between 8am-10pm.