Latest Government figures show that there has been a fall in the number of students staying in school after they are 16 years of age, writes the Press Association for the Guardian.co.uk. This number has fallen for the first time in a decade and comes amid planned changes to raise the school leaving age.
Simultaneously, the proportion of 16- to 18-year-olds not in education, employment or training has risen by 8%.
The statistics show that 70.5% of youngsters in this age group were in full-time education in 2011, compared with 70.6% in 2010, a fall of almost 32,000 students.
As of 2013 school pupils will no longer be able to leave school at 16, instead the legal age to leave school education and training will be raised to 17. This age limit will be further raised in 2015, to 18 years.