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What is Raising the Participation Age?

If you were born on or after 1 September 1996, you will be expected to stay in learning until the end of the academic year in which you turn 18. However, this doesn’t mean you have to stay at school. There are lots of options available to you.

At 16 you can choose to:

  • Remain in full-time education at school or college
  • Become an apprentice
  • Be employed, self-employed, a volunteer or in an internship for at least 20 hours a week for more than 8 weeks, and attend part-time learning for the equivalent of one day per week.

Why study at college rather than school?

  • More freedom and independence – You’ll be treated more like an adult
  • More choice – there’s over 800 courses (including over 20 A Level subjects and a variety of apprenticeships)
  • No need to wear a uniform
  • More specialist facilities – Learn on the latest equipment used in the workplace
  • Make new friends and build your confidence
  • We offer work experience programmes to prepare you for your career
  • Receive free, impartial advice on careers, courses and funding
  • Learn from teachers who have worked in the industry they teach
  • You’ll be better prepared for university or work
  • 81% of our students progress into work and education (Destination Survey 2012)
  • Links with employers – Learn from some of the best in the business (e.g. we work with the two Michelin star Hand & Flowers, Francesco hair salons and Reading FC)
  • Courses are usually free if you are aged under 19
  • Help accessing and applying for job opportunities or university
  • Save money on travel costs with fantastic bus and train pass schemes
  • Enjoy extra benefits such as a discounted NUS card and free USB stick
  • Receive a quality education

To discuss your options with a qualified adviser, contact us on 01753 793337 or drop into one of our colleges in Langley or Windsor.


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