To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of 17 year-olds in England are participating in education and training in fulfilment of the duty to participate set out in the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009, and what steps they are taking to maximise participation from September 2015 when the requirement to participate increases to the 18th birthday.
Young people who were aged 17 at the start of this academic year were covered by the first phase of raising the participation age (RPA) set out in the Education and Skills Act 2008. This required them to continue in education or training for one further year, to 27 June 2014. This cohort is therefore no longer under a duty to participate, although we expect that the vast majority of them will continue to participate this academic year.
Data showing the proportion of these young people participating in the current academic year will be published as part of the 16-18 participation statistical first release at the end of June.
Young people who were aged 16 at the start of this academic year will be under a duty to participate until their 18th birthday. We will encourage schools, colleges and training providers to ensure that young people are aware of this requirement.
In addition, local authorities have a duty to promote the effective participation in education and training of 16 and 17 year olds in their area with a view to ensuring that they fulfil the duty to participate.
We plan to invest £7.2 billion in 2014/15 to fund education and training places for 16 to 19-year-olds. The government has implemented a range of other measures to promote participation and help young people get the best possible start in life, including the reform of vocational education and the Youth Contract.