Forcing 16 year olds to stay on
07 Nov 2007
Interesting reaction to the Queen's Speech proposal to raise the education leaving age (n.b. not school- leaving age, as some deliberately and misleadingly describe it).
I was chairing an education Question Time for the National Education Trust ( a new charity dedicated to raising the standard of debate on education policy) at the University of Bedfordshire. Most of the panellists were passionately in favour of more young people staying on in education to at least 18. But most of them were opposed to making it compulsory.
The interesting thing about the proposed legislation is that if compulsion were not being proposed no Bill would be needed as there is no need to change the law just to state a vague aspiration to get more youngsters to stay on.
At least this way there has been a real debate about the education-leaving age. But criminalising young people for not turning up to classes? What are the other options?
Your views welcome.