You already know that the government has raised the participation age so that you will need to continue in learning until you are 18. This is not the same as saying that you can’t leave school until you are 18. A very high percentage of young people do however decide to carry on with education on a full-time basis in 6th Form, college or with a training provider.
Wherever you choose to study after the age of 16, you will be following a programme designed to help you to progress to a higher level of study. Your programme will have three essential elements:
You will spend most of your time taking one or more substantial qualifications, such as A levels or vocational qualifications or taking part in a Traineeship or doing extended work experience.
You will also do a non-qualification activity, for example work-related learning, tutorials or work experience activities.
You will also continue to study English and maths if you do not get at least a GCSE grade C in these vital subjects by the end of year 11 (grade 4 from 2017).
If you have additional needs that mean you are not ready to take a substantial qualification, you will follow a programme that includes a lot of work experience or other non-qualification activities. This will help you to develop skills for employment or independent living. You will continue to develop your literacy and numeracy skills up to GCSE grade C if possible (grade 4 from 2017), but you might be offered other non-qualification courses in English and maths.
You can also ask for help and advice from the National Careers Service who will have advisers at Skills London.