Drama group helps teenagers prepare for post 16 education changes

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By wp_alistair | Monday, July 09, 2012, 11:12

Students in Wiltshire who will be required to stay in some form of education or training until they are 18 under new government legislation, are being shown their options in a new play.

Theatre company, "Solomon", will be touring 25 secondary schools in Wiltshire (including Kingdown School in Warminster) in the next few weeks, targeting year 8 (12 and 13 year olds) students who will be affected by the legislation from 2015. The current year 10 (14 and 15 year olds) will be required to stay in some sort of education or training until the academic year in which they are 17.

Known as Raising the Participation Age (RPA), the legislation will begin in September 2013 and increases the minimum age at which young people in England can leave learning, requiring them to continue in education or training until the end of the academic year in which they turn 17 from 2013 and until their 18th birthday from 2015.

The theatre group's production is called the "Your Choices" tour and promotes the options available post 16. Following the performance there will be a workshop where students can ask questions and talk through what it means to them.

Wiltshire Council has commissioned the drama group as one of a number of projects to prepare the county for the changes in the education system. The council is one of  35 local authorities conducting a pilot year to look at approaches to how participation will be increased in the county and share good practice with other councils.

Lionel Grundy, cabinet member for children's services said: "Currently there are some popular myths about what raising the participation age means. In fact it covers a wide range of possibilities, and doesn't mean keeping children at school until 18. There are a variety of options including full time education at school or college, apprenticeships, part time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for more than 20 hours a week.

"Part of our role is to make sure students know what RPA means to them, and this theatre tour will be able to help them work out their future choices."

For more information go to www.wiltshire.gov.uk/choices



  • Profile image for derryhawk

    After 61 years of watching Government initiatives for the young people, I am so sceptical of anything they come up with. Politicians seem to manipulate figures, offer new 'opportunities', promise something better...Indeed, do anything, other than actually produce jobs. This initiative like all the rest, will no doubt provide cheap labour from those who are not academic, and take a lot of the others in to higher education, filling their heads with dreams of the great career ahead; but some of them, will never get a job in the area they have trained for, and some with degrees will end up doing jobs that they could have done straight from school. this is not a comment on the current Government, but rather an observation from someone who has watched successive parties rule, and make empty promises to the new generation. I am afraid that clever initiatives like this play, will not change a thing.

    By derryhawk at 19:39 on 09/07/12

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