Legislation was introduced in 2013/14 increasing the age to which all young people in England are required to remain in education or training.
Introduced in two stages, it applied to:
- Young people who left year 11 in summer 2013, who were required to stay in some form of education or training for at least a further year until 27th June 2014.
- Young people who started in year 11 (or years below) in September 2013, who were required to continue until at least their 18th birthday.
The first cohort impacted by stage 1 of the Raising the participation age (RPA) legislation were academic age 16 (usually year 12) in 2013/14 and academic age 17 in 2014/15. Those young people impacted by stage 2 of RPS were academic age 16 in 2014/15 and age 17 in 2015/16.
The government provides the framework and funding to increase participation and reduce the proportion of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), however, responsibility and accountability for delivery lies with local authorities. Under Section 68 of the Education and Skills Act 2008 (ESA 2008) local authorities have a duty to encourage, enable or assist young people’s participation in education or training.
The government publishes local authority participation data so that members of the public can make informed decisions about the performance of their own local authority.