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Beyond school

​Your child may choose to leave school when they reach the age of 16.

In Scotland, if your child's 16th birthday falls within or between March and September, they can leave school in the May of that year. If their birthday falls between October and February, they can leave at the start of the winter holidays.

Alternatively, your child may choose to stay at school for (up to) an additional two years before leaving school.

By the time that your child leaves school, they will have gained skills and knowledge that will prepare them for the world beyond school. Even though they are leaving school, it's important that their education continues to be designed and developed around them as an individual.

At all stages of your child's education, your support plays a vital role. It is important that you continue to make a positive difference to your child's learning by supporting and encouraging them at this time.

Find out about post-16 opportunities available to allow your child to continue their education or plan/start a career, including links to organisations that can best support you and your child at this point in their life.

Additional support needs

Some young people require support that is in addition to, or different from young people of the same age to ensure they benefit from education. If your child has a specific support need, you will need to plan with appropriate agencies (for example health services, social work, voluntary services) to meet your child's learning and support needs.

Planning is particularly important at transition points, for example when starting the move from secondary school to further education or the workplace. It is important that planning for these transitions is started early.

Our newsletters provide the latest information on education news and events, as well as details of resources and activities to help you support your child's learning