The Study Programme is a new approach to lead 16-19 year olds into further education and employment. The ‘Raising the Participation Age’ (RPA) policy can into effect in September 2013 for learners aged 16 to 19. This means that 16 year olds in education are now required to ‘participate’ in learning until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17.
From summer 2015, 17 year olds will be required to participate in learning until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18. This participation will be counted as learners engaging in one of the following:
- full time education (known as a study programme)
- an apprenticeship
- full time work involving at least 280 hours of qualification based learning per academic year
- a traineeship
- home education
The full time Study Programme will consist of between 540-600 learning hours per academic year and will contain either an academic programme or a substantial vocational qualification, and consist of a mixture of qualification and non-qualification (eg tutorial and work-experience) hours.
For the non-qualification hours, learners are required ‘where appropriate to take part in work experience’, that is relevant to their course of study.
Learners who haven’t yet achieved GCSE Grade ‘C’ in English and Maths at 16 will continue to study these subjects by re-sits or by taking Functional Skills or similar provision to enable them to progress towards their GCSE Grade C or above achievement.
Those students who aren’t able to study an academic programme or a substantial vocational qualification (eg if they have complex learning needs and/or disadvantage) are required to take a programme of work experience and continue to develop their numeracy and literacy skills.