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Beth Foley
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Staying Power: Making the raising of the participation age a policy success

Staying Power: Making the raising of the participation age a policy success

Beth Foley
20 August 2014

In 2008, the then-Labour Government’s Education and Skills Act increased the age of compulsory participation in education and training in England to age 18 by 2015. This washeralded as one of the Government’s most important changes to the education system and was the first time since the early 1970s that the leaving age had been increased. In a bid to avoid the imposition of sanctions on young people, reduce costs and reassure employers, the current Government has announced the suspension of these duties and their associated penalties, for both young people and employers.

This report argues that the RPA reform is unlikely to fully realise its aims of full participation without addressing these emerging issues. Its recommendations focus on four key areas:

• The quality of options available post-16

• Improvements in careers advice and guidance

• Increased financial support options for learners aged 16-19

• A focus on better tracking and monitoring

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