The government has raised the participation age so that all young people in England who left year 11 in summer 2013 are required to continue in education or training for at least a further year until 27 June 2014. This will help to ensure that every young person has the opportunity to gain skills and qualifications that help them progress to higher education, work and adult life.
Given that young people are required to participate post-16, there needs to be a process to ensure that 16- and 17-year-olds can secure a suitable offer of education or training in a school, college or work-based training. This process is known as the 'September Guarantee'. We announced in ‘Building engagement, building futures: our strategy to maximise the participation of 16- to 24-year-olds’ that the September Guarantee process would continue.
The offer should be appropriate to meet the young person’s needs and may be in a school, college or in work-based learning, or be for part-time education where the young person is combining their education with a full-time employment or voluntary work.
Local authorities have clear statutory duties in relation to post-16 participation - to secure sufficient suitable education and training provision and to support young people to participate. The ‘September Guarantee’ helps local authorities to fulfil these duties, and it is for them to agree with their partners - especially schools and colleges - how the process will operate in their local area.
Young people, or their parents, who have questions about what is on offer in their area can speak to their school or local authority service for young people to discuss options. For further advice on careers, young people can use a telephone helpline and access careers information on the GOV.UK website. Details are available on this page.
FAQs on education or training offers for 16- to 17-year-olds and more information about what is meant by ‘a suitable offer’ are also available.
92.1% of 16- and 17-year-olds received an offer of a place in education or training in 2013. Figures for the proportion of young people receiving an offer in each local authority area in 2013 can be found on this page.
Careers advice: 16- to 17-year-olds
Telephone: 0800 100 900
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Answers to frequently asked questions about offers of education or training for 16- to 17-year-olds, including a definition of a 'suitable offer'.
Advice, support and information for young people, on a range of teenage issues from careers and learning to money, health and relationships.
Our strategy to maximise the participation of 16- to 24-year-olds in education, training and work.