Evaluation of phase 4 of the Trials to support Raising the Participation Age

The 2008 Education and Skills Act included proposals for a future government to raise the age at which young people are expected to stay in learning in England to 17 years from 2013 and to their 18th birthday from 2015 and to place a duty on employers to offer statutory release to young workers to access education or training. The Department funded Local Authority to lead trials to tease out the issues and requirements in enacting this critical policy. These earlier trials were subject to evaluation led by Isos Partnership. The Phase 4 trials are the final wave of activity ahead of full implementation and it is critical that the good practice and lessons arising from their operation are captured. IES, working in partnership with Professor Sue Maguire at CEI, University of Warwick developed an innovative and multi-faceted evaluation design which captured these in the context of a changed economic, social and local authority environment.