From September 2013 the government has raised the age for participating in education. All current (April 2013) Year 11 students must remain in education or training until the age of 17 and from 2015 (Current Y10) all students must remain in education or training until the age of 18.
This means young people can: stay in school or college full time, gain an apprenticeship or find full time work with a training element.
The aim is to build a strong, well educated work force with L3 qualifications . More can be found on the DfE website.