Common questions on leaving school

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions about post 16 options for young people leaving school.

What is the statutory school leaving age?

The leaving date for all children in England is the last Friday in June in the school year in which the child reaches 16 years of age. The National Careers Service provide links to information about choices at 16+, including choosing college or university, starting a career, and getting vocational training.

How do I apply for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund?

This is a national scheme for 16 to 19 year olds. The website has details about eligibility and how to apply for the Bursary Fund.

Can I get help with transport to college?

Surrey operates a number of schemes that can provide assistance with home to school transport costs. The website has further information about subsidised transport for 16 to 19 year olds in education.

Where can I get copies of exam certificates?

If you have lost your exam certificate you will need to contact the relevant awarding body for a replacement. A charge will be made for this service.

My child has dropped out of GCSEs. Can they start work?

Only pupils who have reached the statutory school leaving age are free to leave school and enter full time employment, even though they may have reached their sixteenth birthday and been issued with a National Insurance number.

Pupils of compulsory school age may not enter full time employment or be granted leave of absence to take up casual employment.

Since September 2015 all young people have to participate in education or training until they are 18 however this does not mean that they have to attend college. Surrey's Your Next Move portal has information about the options available to them when they turn 16.

My child has not done well with GCSEs. Can they resit? Where would they go to do so?

The Department of Education provides information about GCSEs and Key Stage 4 qualifications. Contact the relevant examination board for details of resits in other examinations.

Where can I find out about trainee schemes/apprenticeships?

An apprenticeship (GOV.UK) enables young people to work towards a nationally recognised qualification whilst gaining hands on experience of the workplace. If they are not quite ready for an apprenticeship they may wish to consider a traineeship.

Subscribe to our newsletters for latest news and events.