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The government has increased the age to which all young people in England must continue in education or training, requiring them to continue until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 from 2013 and until their 18th birthday from 2015. This process between now and 2015 is known as "Raising the Participation Age" or RPA.

For full details of what this means for local authority staff, visit the Department for Education's RPA pages. The DfE will update these pages to reflect progress.

What does this mean for Kent schools?

Kent schools must provide impartial careers advice to Year 8-13 and CXK (formerly known as Connexions) will only offer support to vulnerable learners. 

Schools have the important task of ensuring that their learners receive the appropriate advice and guidance to make the right decisions at key transition points.

For more information, please visit the Department for Education's "What does RPA mean for me?" section. This offers simple summaries of RPA for schools, parents and students and the DfE will update these pages to reflect progress.

Download the RPA guidance for pre-16 providers (PDF, 124.5 KB)

Download the RPA guidance for post-16 providers (PDF, 122.9 KB)

What can young people do?

  • Investigate the options thoroughly: school sixth form, college, apprenticeships or work with training.
  • Research careers - this will influence what subjects to study, where to study and how to learn. For some professions an apprenticeship may be the best route, while for others it may be university.
  • Visit schools and colleges and learning providers - they all have open days.
  • Make sure they understand the qualification types available as they offer different ways of learning and different options.

Find out more