Schools, education and childcare Training and education for 16 to 18-year-olds

Finding the right fit

The law requires all young people in England to continue in education or training until at least their 18th birthday, even if they work. 

This doesn’t mean they have to stay on at school. They can leave on the last Friday in June if they will be 16 by the end of the summer holidays. They must then do one of the following until they are 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.


Evidence shows that staying in education longer can increase a young person’s choices later in life. Not only are they more likely to get a job and earn more over their lifetimes, they are
also less likely to suffer from health and social problems.

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?

Fields marked * cannot be left blank

Feedback submitted to us on this form is monitored but you won’t receive a reply. In an emergency, visit our emergency contact details page. Please don't include any personal or financial information, for example your National Insurance or credit card numbers.