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Post 16

This is the audio of our post 16 page

There is conflicting information out there about what 16-18 year olds legally should be doing with regards to education.

We hope to explain it here.

The government want all people under 18 to stay in education, work or training, however, they have not changed the law to change the end of compulsory school age (June of what would be their year 11/age 16). This is slightly different in Scotland ( if your child’s 16th birthday falls on or between 1 March and 30 September, they can leave school in the May of that year. If their birthday falls between October and February, they can leave at the start of the winter holidays.) Therefore their ‘rule’ is just a recommendation and you can not be prosecuted if your child wants to leave education at 16.

However, if your child ends education at 16, your child benefit and other child related benefits would end too. Your child, in most cases, is not allowed to claim benefits in their own name until they are 18. So they would have to find work or be supported by you.

There are some options for Home Educators:

If you home educated prior to turning 16 then you can ‘continue home educating’ and use the relevant Benefit Entitlement pages to help claim. You will be expected to be providing a none advanced (ie GCSE or Alevel), full time and supervised education.

If you wish to end Home Education after 16, your child could go to college, do an apprenticeship, or find work.

If your child is in college/sixth form at 16-18 but wishes to be Home Educated, then it is possible to do that and still claim benefits, but only if your child has a statement of special needs. The rules on this are still unclear, so please read our Benefit Entitlement pages and ensure you meet the criteria.


Remember GCSEs are not compulsory, but if your child wishes to do them, they can sit them at any age, right up until old age.

Local Authority remit

Post 16 the Local Authority has no legal remit over your child, therefore should they request information from you you can remind them your child is no longer compulsory school age and therefore no longer their remit.

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