THE academic year 2012/2013 will see the introduction of new choices for Year 11s as they become the first year to choose from a range of continuing education options. 

The new national Raising the Participation Age requirements for young people's education to continue post 16 was first introduced by The Education & Skills Act in 2008 and Worcestershire has been chosen as a pilot county. 

Year 11 leavers from 2013 will now have to choose whether they are going to undertake further study at school or a sixth form or a further education college or embark on a work based study programme or apprenticeship.

Work without training or being unemployed will no longer be an option.

Kim Wattie, a manager in the Widening Participation team from Worcestershire County Council, said: "Next year's Year 11s will be the first ones to be required to make this choice and to help we have produced information leaflets and worked with local providers to ensure opportunities are available for all leavers to continue on a pathway that they choose. 

“However, if anyone does need more information about what their options might be, either they or their parents can contact the Raising Participation Team on 01905 765661 or view the Raising Participation Age page of the county council’s website ".