Post-16 education, training and employment


Young people aged 16 to 18 must continue with education or training.

This is to give them the best opportunities to achieve their potential.

It does not mean they must stay in school.

Young people can choose from one of the following options:

  • full-time education, such as school, college or a learning provider
  • work-based learning, such as an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • part-time education or training (if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more a week)

If the young person has SEND

For young people with SEND, there are different post-16 opportunities into education, training and / or employment.

If the young person has an Education Health & Care Plan, the placement must be agreed by the Post-16 SEND Panel.

They will look at the young person's goals, needs and progression to determine which placement is most suitable.


Young people continuing with education or training when they are between 16 and 18 years old is known as the 'raised participation age'.

It is in place to:  

  • help develop the skills needed for adult life 
  • raise aspirations and expectations 
  • reduce the likelihood of unemployment 
  • increase income earning potential 

See GOV.UK: Participation of young people: education, employment and training