Do you have to be in school after your are 16 years?-Part 2

What is the Score?


You can leave school on the last Friday in June if you’ll be 16 by the end of the summer holidays.

You must then do one of the following until you’re 18:

  • Stay in full-time education, for example at a college.

  • Start an apprenticeship or traineeship.

  • Spend 20 hours or more a week working or volunteering while in part-time education or training.


If you turn 16 between 1 March and 30 September you can leave after 31 May of that year.

If you turn 16 between 1 October and the end of February you can leave at the start of the Christmas holidays in that school year.


You can leave school on the last Friday in June, as long as you will be 16 by the end of that school year’s summer holidays.

Northern Ireland

If you turn 16 during the school year (between 1 September and 1 July) you can leave school after 30 June.

If you turn 16 between 2 July and 31 August you can’t leave your education.

Oh! By the way, did you know that you can get financial help with education costs between the ages of 16 years to 19 years? This is the site, take a look if you’re in England -

For those of you in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, you have access to the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) scheme:

Now, why am I telling you this? Don’t I want you to stay in school? Isn’t this all about learning?

A lot of people and students spout:You have to be in school until you’re 18!

Me: "Who says?"

People/students: "the government!"

Me: roll eyes and groan

Of course, we want you to be in school and learning. But you know Learning Strategist is All about learning and All the different ways learning can be

approached, accessed for your benefit. However, we also know that formal learning is not for everyone all of the time. Lifelong learning is here to stay. Accept it but know what form of learning is going to be for you at any particular time in your life. We know, that many scenarios present themselves in life, here are the common ones we've encountered –

1. Parents want you to stay in formal education because they believe it’s best in the long term because you’re academically capable or more than capable so, formal education is a way forward. A lot of the time they are right, but not always.

2. Parents want their cherubs to be in formal education because it looks good in their social circle.

3. The young person has reached their heights, at this particular moment either in interest or academically but still believes that they should stay on at school or go to university because their friends are doing so.

4. Parents couldn’t be bothered if their young ‘un doesn’t go onto university or even college. But the problem in this scenario is, no one has prepared the young ‘un, including the young ‘un themselves, as to what they’re going to do. What are they interested in? Duhhhhh!