What is RPA?
The government has changed the law so that from start of the 2013/14 academic year, all young people are required to continue in education or training:
- Until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17.
- From summer 2015 this will be until their 18th birthday.
The information here will help you to understand what this means for you and your child.
This does not necessarily mean staying in school; young people have a choice about how they continue in education or training post-16, which could be through:
- Full-time study in a school, college or with a training provider.
- Full-time work or volunteering combined with part-time education or training.
- An Apprenticeship (http://apprenticeships.org.uk).
Why have you changed things?
The vast majority of 16 and 17 year olds already continue in some form of education or training. However, the small group of young people not participating includes some of the most vulnerable. The government want to give all young people the opportunity to develop the skills they need for adult life and to achieve their full potential.
What does this mean for me?
The legal requirement to participate is on your son or daughter. This is because we know that, at 16, young people are starting to make – and take responsibility for – the decisions that affect their future. The government is investing more than ever to provide fully-funded education and training places for all 16-19 year-olds who want to take them.
What happens if my child doesn’t participate?
The law has changed, but there will be no action taken against any young people who don’t participate. We want to encourage your child to participate because of the benefits it will bring – this is the reason why the vast majority of 16 and 17 year-olds already choose to continue in education or training. By changing the law, we have made sure that all young people have the opportunity to access the learning option that’s right for them and improve their long-term prospects.
Your local authority is responsible for identifying and supporting 16-17 year olds who are not participating and will be working to ensure that young people are enrolled on a suitable education or training place.
Is financial support available for my child?
The16-19 Bursary Fund provides financial support to help with essential education-related costs like transport to their school or college, a lunchtime meal or any equipment they might need for their course. You can find out more about the 16-19 below:
Where can I find out more?