Raising the participation age: commencement
Section 74: Duty to participate in education or training: commencement
352.Part 1 of ESA 2008 places a duty on young people in England to participate in education or training until the age of 18 (or until attaining a level 3 qualification if earlier) and is commonly known as “Raising the Participation Age”. Section 74 amends section 173(9) and (10) (the commencement provisions) of ESA 2008 to give the Secretary of State more flexibility as to the timing of the commencement of elements of Part 1 of that Act.
353.This amendment will not affect the commencement of sections 1 to 10 of ESA 2008, including the duty on young people to participate in education and training and the duty on local authorities to promote fulfilment of that duty. These sections must still be brought into force in part by 2013, and fully by 2015.
354.However, the amendment enables the remainder of Part 1 to be commenced at a point decided by the Secretary of State. In particular, the Secretary of State will keep under review the appropriateness of commencing Chapter 5 of Part 1, which provides for an enforcement mechanism involving local authority enforcement notices, panels, penalty notices, and ultimately a criminal offence for failure to comply with an attendance notice. The commencement of other duties may be affected, including those on employers, parents, and the requirement on local authorities to identify those young people not meeting the central duty.