Top tips for local authorities implementing Raising the Participation Age (RPA)

Maguire S, Newton B |   | Department for Education | Aug 2013

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The government has raised the participation age (RPA) in England. A change in the law through the 2008 Education and Skills Act requires all young people to continue in education or training:

  • from September 2013, until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17
  • from summer 2015 this will be until their 18th birthday.

This does not have to mean staying in school, it can be:

  • full-time education, e.g. at a school or college
  • an apprenticeship
  • full-time employment, self-employment and volunteering (over 20 hours a week) combined with part-time education or training.

To support the implementation of this policy the Department for Education funded local authorities (LAs) to lead trials and locally-led delivery projects (LLDPs) over four years, with the Phase 4 projects forming the last phase of work in 2012/13.

An evaluation of the Phase 4 LLDPs was commissioned to gather evidence on new activities and effective practice, as well as provide guidance to assist LAs with planning and preparing for RPA.

The evaluation identified some key issues associated with operationalising RPA. These issues were: strategic ownership and partnership delivery; data and tracking; early intervention; the needs of vulnerable groups; and the 17+ agenda.

This document presents some top tips arising from the evaluation of the Phase 4 LLDPs for all LAs as they deliver RPA.The good practice examples in this document are summarised from the research report from the evaluation and references are provided to the report: DfE-RR308 (see related publications).