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Raising the Participation Age (RPA)

What is Raising the Participation Age (RPA)?

It is the Governments policy that by 2013, all young people will be expected to stay in some form of learning until they are 17. This will increase to age 18 by 2015.

This means that young people that started in Year 7 in September 2008 or after will need to remain in learning until they are 17. Young people that started Year 7 in September 2009 or after will need to remain in learning until they are 18.

Key messages have been produced to ensure consistency in communicating with schools and other agencies, parents and young people about the Raising the Participation Age (RPA).

If you are a parent, carer, school or agency please see the documents attached at the bottom of this page.

Information for young people is set out below.

Information for young people

Did you know ...

Soon, all young people will be in education or training until they are 18.

In the past, young people could leave education when they were 16 but things are changing. This means that those leaving Year 11 in 2013 will need to remain in learning until they are 17. Those leaving Year 11 from 2014 onwards will need to remain in learning until they are 18. This is the Government's policy.


The world of work is changing. New jobs are being created and many will be more complicated and demanding. Therefore, employers will be looking for people with more skills, training and qualifications. The more training and qualifications you have, the better your chances of getting a good job that you enjoy in the future. In fact, why stop at 18? You can carry on in higher education or training after you are 18 to improve your chances even further.

Does this mean staying at school until I'm 18?

No its not just about staying at school (although lots of people will choose to stay on). There will be lots of other routes available - offered by employers, colleges and training providers as well - including Apprenticeships, Diplomas, voluntary work and jobs with training.

What does this mean for me?

It means that you should start thinking about the type of learning or training you need to do, to get you where you want to be in the future.

From the age of 14, you will have more choice about the different pathways to follow - not just GCSEs and A levels but lots of other types of qualification will also be available including Apprenticeships and Diplomas. For more information, see your Connexions Careers Adviser. Don't worry; there will be lots of people around to help you.

What is happening in Redcar and Cleveland?

Routes to Employment (Redcar and Cleveland) - who offer information and advice about careers and learning - are working to make sure that everyone knows about the changes to come and what their options are so that they can make the best decisions for their future.

.doc fileRPA - Key messages - Schools and Agencies.doc (28k)

.doc fileRPA - Key messages - Parents.doc (28k)