Participation in education and training is rising and we are committed to raising the participation age to 17 in 2013 and 18 in 2015. This means that young people will be required to remain in education or training to the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 from 2013 and to their 18th birthday from 2015. 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.
If participation is to continue to rise, there needs to be a good 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 we will continue this process.
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 contact the telephone help line on 0800 100 900, or access careers advice information on GOV.UK.
See FAQs: education or training offers for 16- to 17-year-olds for more information about what is meant by ‘a suitable offer’.
92.4% of 16- and 17-year-olds received an offer of a place in education or training in 2012 (95.2% of 16-year-olds and 89.5% of 17-year-olds). Of the remainder, most had either chosen not to apply for education or training (for example, because they had found a job) or could not be contacted. Figures for the proportion of young people receiving an offer in each local authority area can be found in the associated resources section.
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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.