Raising of the School Leaving Age

(33 Posts)
Fran4 Fri 15-Mar-13 14:19:07

This year the school leaving age goes up to 17 and in 2015, it goes up to 18. I would hope that both of my children would go into the sixth form regardless of this, but I still think the change in the law will have an impact on them. I've trawled around the net looking for posts on the subject, but nobody seems to be talking about it, not the government, not parents, not even the kids themselves.

My concerns are listed below. Does anyone have any thoughts / does anyone have any information?!

1. About 75% of 16 year olds stay on into some sort of secondary education / training. The change in the law will effectively add a third onto the numbers staying on. How are schools going to cope with this in terms of space and number of staff?
2. Is the admissions process for 6 forms going to change? At the moment it is selective or at least mainly so as far as I can see. Where will the 16 year olds who don't get selected go? Is 6th form entry going to become more competitive? Are we going to see the creation of schools with massive problems because they end up with a large proportion of the young people who can't get in elsewhere? Or are schools going to be forced to abandon any form of selectivity?
3. If 16 - 18 year olds have to attend school by law, shouldn't they get free transport to get them there and back?
4. What happens to child benefit / child tax credits?
5. Are 16 year olds going to be forced to do courses which are really not appropriate for them?

The list goes on and on .... In my mind this is probably a positive change, but it seems very strange that it isn't sparking any kind of public debate and that no-one is taking about how it will work logistically.

antshouse Fri 15-Mar-13 14:53:20

I don't think they have to stay at school, just be in some kind of education or training.

Takver Fri 15-Mar-13 15:00:22

I agree that its strange that there isn't more discussion. Personally, I'm not sure that it IS a positive change. I'd rather see far more opportunities for people to access education when they want it (very well funded academic and vocational evening classes, for example) rather than pressure for everyone to stay in education until 18 at the earliest, and ideally 21.

Fran4 Fri 15-Mar-13 15:03:02

Agreed that they don't necessarily have to be in school - they can be in full time training or an apprenticeship instead, but even that still raises all sorts of questions, for example what happens to those who want to do an apprenticeship but can't find one?

BoundandRebound Fri 15-Mar-13 15:50:09

My worry is the lack of vocational training, apprenticeships and opportunities for those who are not academic

LeeCoakley Fri 15-Mar-13 16:12:10

Yes, it's the opportunities that are going to be available that is bothering me. Dd3, yr10 now, decided that she was going to do an apprenticeship years ago and not go into 6th form. Does this mean that she is going to be competing for an apprenticeship with others that don't really want one but are being forced to? How will there be enough to go round? I'm sure the choice isn't going to be there. At the moment students can leave school at 16, get a job and then retrain later if and when they feel they want to. Now they will have to make some choices before they are ready. Imagine spending two years doing something that was a bad choice. Also are 6th formers going to be educated with students that don't really want to be there? A recipe for disaster where everyone loses.

geogteach Fri 15-Mar-13 16:15:51

I agree the lack of discussion on this is astounding. I work for a service that provides education for kids excluded from school, traditionally year 11 left us on 30th June, even my head of service doesn't know if we will have to keep them on role or if we will be expected to provide education for 16 /17 year olds who are excluded. To be honest until a couple of months ago he hadn't even noticed it was happening shock

ReallyTired Fri 15-Mar-13 16:38:07

In my area studio schools are being set up to cater for children aged 14 to 18 with a more vocational curriculum. I imagine that many children will leave comprehensives to go to these schools. This will free up classrooms and teachers for the extra sixth formers in the comps.

I wonder how they are going to children in EBD schools who frankly don't want to be there. What do you do with a 17 year old who is disruptive but not a criminal?

prh47bridge Fri 15-Mar-13 21:00:05

As others have said the school leaving age is not being raised. What is happening is that young people under the age of 17 have three options:

- full time education or training
- apprenticeship
- a full time job and sufficient relevant training

creamteas Fri 15-Mar-13 21:32:15

To be honest I don't think this is going to make any noticeable difference to anything.

Currently I think it is less that 10% of 16-18 year olds are not in education, employment or training (the Neets), and none of the 18 year olds will need to be in education or training. So we are only talking about maybe 7%-8% more places needed.

All an employer has to do to convert an employment place into training is offer an NVQ as well (there doesn't seem to be anything about the training being very meaningful!).

So all that is really going to change is the Neets will become truants....

dearcathyandclare Fri 15-Mar-13 21:51:39

I know this anedoctal evidence, but I have 2 children affected by this and have had nothing ' official' to advise me of this change. As it happens both dd (16 and yr 11) and ds (14 and yr10) are academic and sights set on A levels and Uni.
Perhaps I am particularly ignorant but I can't recall any publicity about this new law.

creamteas Fri 15-Mar-13 21:55:58

My DC's school has been informing parents so often it is getting repetitive now

slambang Fri 15-Mar-13 21:59:49

I'm interested too.

How will a dc be tracked? If they leave school saying e.g. I'm going to do a job / training with Bloggs Garage. Bloggs goes bust and they lose their place. They are out of contact with school, Bloggs and are NEET.

MyChildDoesntNeedSleep Fri 15-Mar-13 23:04:42

There are loads of issues that I am ASTOUNDED that people don't seem to talk about. Like the fact that Wales and Scotland don't pay for prescriptions but us mugs in England do (going up to £7.85 per item from next month), for example.

People just aren't interested in politics even though these things affect our day to day lives.

prh47bridge Sat 16-Mar-13 00:17:08

It is up to the LEA to ensure that young people comply with the requirements. Various bodies are under a duty to provide them with information to allow the LEA to fulfil this requirement. It is, of course, impossible to tell how effectively this will be enforced.

teacherandguideleader Sat 16-Mar-13 07:42:47

My colleague and I are getting quite concerned about this. We teach the class that have finished GCSEs but are not ready for the next level of study. Demand for this is only going to get higher but I don't know what resources we will have to deal with this.

creamteas Sat 16-Mar-13 09:43:03

As far as I know there is no obligation of schools to take anyone on.

There are lots of private training companies that currently have contracts to train those that are deemed to be Neets. My guess is that they will be ones expanding.

Some of them are good, but where I live too many focus on basic qualifications in vocational subjects for which there are no jobs to go into unfortunately. So other occupying young people so they are not on the streets, there is little real benefit.

slambang Sat 16-Mar-13 11:58:14

I work with an organisation that has one of those neet contracts Creamteas.

The problem, as with many current govt contracts, is that payment is by outcome. You get a tiny initial payment to engage with the young person and then a much bigger lump if they get a permanent job or complete accredited training. So those young people who most need intensive support to get them out of bed and job-ready are least likely to get it. Those who can be put through a quick food hygiene certificate and out the door will pay for themselves and then be left unsupported.

We've been working intensively with a young neet lad from a tragic nightmarish background first of all to engage with him enough to agree to meet us and work with us, then to get him into some training in a work placement. We've put in hours and hours of time (unpaid of course) but we've been told on Friday that we have to stop working with him as he's not putting enough effort in. sad.

I wonder in this new system who's going to be held responsible for his 'neetness'. Will it be the school for allowing him to leave or us the struggling charity who is attempting to work with him for no return?

meditrina Sat 16-Mar-13 12:05:56

There was publicity back in 2007, when the measure was passed, eg this BBC article which said there would be a further statement on implementation and funding in spring 2008. I'll see if I can find it - or perhaps another poster will know where it can be found.

meditrina Sat 16-Mar-13 12:08:45
creamteas Sat 16-Mar-13 14:36:03

slam the contracts are very unrealistic, and organisations that want to do a good job are suffering. But from what I have seen round here, there are also a lot of unscrupulous training companies that are making money for doing very little.

It is a similar problem for the training schemes for adults linked to jobseekers. The move to payment by results was introduced because so many training providers did not make any difference. But this was because the tendering process often drove many of the good providers out leaving the cheapest bidders and unrealistic promises!

One day a government will realize that good education and training is worth investing in.....

Fran4 Mon 18-Mar-13 14:48:39

Had a look at the various articles that meditrina kindly pointed to. There's lots of information and guidelines but very little in terms of specifics. Following various links out from these I found out that around 65% of London boroughs deems themselves well prepared for the change but alot of them cited problems in contacting parents and training providers (can't quite understand that one??? I can't say I've noticed my Local Authority even trying to contact me).

The general consensus seemed to be that selective 6th forms would hardly notice the difference, with most discussion being around training provision and virtually none that I could find around non-selective 6th forms. That last comment is a massive paraphrase by me, so I would treat it with major caution!

It strikes me that until our Local Authorities really start engaging with us the parents rather than just one another and really start laying down concrete plans, we're not going to know much more. Or maybe they already have done and we just don't know about it!

I also found out that the correct term for what we're talking about is RPA (Raising the Participation Age)

Ronaldo Mon 18-Mar-13 15:15:01

I have been asking about this for the last two years and got nothing but odd looks as if I am the nutter.

There appears to be nothing much in placein many schools for the aditional numbers who this will affect.

I would love to know of any person in a school with a curriculum in place for sixth formers ( non selective) for taking kids this year toi 17 and next to 18.

The school where I work has just ( a couple ofdays ago) decided to look at what might go into curriculum changes to go along with this - but it wont be in place for this Septemeber.

I think there is a lot of head burying and a lot of people ignorance. It was announced by dear Mr G Brown several years ago and seems to have been forgotten but going through anyway.

I agree those who get some kind of work place education could well find themselves between stones if the workplace goes bust.

So who is making the money? Private firms picking up kids who schools ditch? And what are they really offering in terms of education rather than work placements ( which give lip service to training often).

Talkinpeace Mon 18-Mar-13 15:33:11

remember that for many kids at "6th Form Colleges" A levels are nothing to do with their curriculum.
Hence my anger when the idiot Gove slagged off 6th Form colleges who did not get kids into Russell Group Unis.

Take this "Sixth Form College" for instance : www.sparsholt.ac.uk/Apprenticeships_and_WBL
Or this unusual but highly successful course : www.southampton-city.ac.uk/Adult/course_view.asp?id=1991&area=adult
or this range of courses : www.totton.ac.uk/1618/courses/detail/43000441392505

expanding such courses can only be good for the economy

HilaryM Mon 18-Mar-13 15:36:41

How might it impact 11-16 comprehensives? Would they be encouraged to become 11-18s?

Talkinpeace Mon 18-Mar-13 15:42:53

not round here - the infrastructure of the colleges is already in place

hugoagogo Mon 18-Mar-13 16:04:41

I have been wondering about this, ds is in year 9, but I have had no info' from the school or the LEA about what they expect to happen.

I hope that he will want to do some A levels anyway, he is certainly academic enough, if somewhat lacking in enthusiasm for learning. hmm

What are the other options likely to be?

Talkinpeace Mon 18-Mar-13 16:45:20

look at the links I posted : many of those (type of) colleges operate linked courses for kids in schools

- in DDs year there are people doing Stable Management up at Sparsholt and others heading into hairdressing and car mechanics - instead of doing GCSEs

its on a bigger scale post 16

bigbluebus Mon 18-Mar-13 20:15:09

DS is in Yr 11 (so the 1st group to be affected by this change). His school has a 6th form. I have been to a meeting at school about 'next steps'. There was no mention of these changes., and as far as I am aware, the school is not offering any different subjects next year in the 6th form, so there are no new vocational courses to cater for anyone who may be staying on, who previously might not have done. (The school does run a few vocational courses at present, but is mainly A levels).
In the large town nearby, the schools have no 6th forms and I haven't heard of any plans to create any - the children will just continue on to separate 6th form college or College of Arts & Technology.
As far as I am aware, Connexions will be responsible for working with anyone who is not intending to stay on in Education.

headlesslambrini Mon 18-Mar-13 21:10:26

OK this is all about the 'learning age' not the 'leaving age'. Currently students remain in compulsory education until the last Friday in June each year of the academic year of their 16th birthday. This will change and students will have to remain in some form of education until the academic year in which they turn 18. This form of education can be 6th form, college, apprenticeship or a job with accrediated training. The qualifications should be those only listed under section 96 (I think), which predominantly are longer qualifications rather than short courses. However saying that, the Foundation Learning programmes will still be included.

Someone asked about the tracking of students - currently the LA's have a responsibility to track all students within their borough. In practice, a lot of them contract this out to the local Careers / Connexions / Young Peoples service. They in turn get information from the local college's and 6th forms. They have a database of all students within their borough and basically will match them on the lists which they get. They then contact those which haven't shown up on the enrolments of the colleges and 6th forms.

number of spaces / apprenticeships - the LA's have responsibility to work with local training providers and colleges to ensure that they are offering an appropriate number of places. This should be done with taking into account the local labour market information. Traditionally this has been based on the intended destinations of students gathered by the careers companies in each area. How this will get done now with the careers companies being disestablished in many areas, is unclear.

In practice - the LA's are already looking at this, def in my area and are planning towards it. I suppose this will depend on how pro-active each area is though.

You will probably see very little difference to what happens now apart from the fact that there will be no 16-18 unemployed young people in this country - yeah right!!

RedValerian Tue 19-Mar-13 10:25:10

DD is in year 11 at a mixed 11-18 comp. We went to the 6th form Open Evenings at her school in the autumn and looked at a couple of other schools as well. From what I remember, they said that 90% of 17 year olds are already in some form of education/ training. The schools also offer non-A level 6th form courses such as GCSE resits, BTECs, 2-year AS levels. Apparently, it is the 'child's' responsibility to find education, so schools can still exclude pupils. I didn't pay a lot of attention to the options available as DD is planning on doing A-levels, but I was reassured that her lessons wont be full of disruptive students who don't want to be there.
HTH

lljkk Thu 21-Mar-13 18:43:00

It isn't going to happen.

I come from a system where we have compulsory education until 18 and the drop out rate is high (at least 25%). We don't even have vocational courses or apprenticeships instead of formal classrooms, either.

We just have huge truancy & drop out rates.

I have cousins & friends who failed to complete their Leaving certificates at right age, they had to go back to night school later.

Formally raising the leaving age will improve nothing, just create different problems.

speedology Fri 05-Jul-13 20:14:08

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