Age to leave school

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When can I leave School?

In the ACT, you have to go to school from the age of 6 until you complete Year 10 or reach 17 years of age, whichever happens first.

If you have completed Year 10 but haven’t turned 17 yet, you can:

  • Stay in school until you turn 17
  • Leave school and do some other full-time education, training or employment until you’re 17 or complete a year 12 equivalent.

If you want to leave school under 17 to work, do work-related training or get an apprenticeship or traineeship, you have to get an Approval Statement from the ACT Department of Education and Training.  Click here to find out how to apply for an Approval Statement: http://www.det.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/120355/Approval_Statement_Application_Pack.pdf

You can also call the Department of Education on (02) 6205 2254 for more information.

If you’re interested in doing an apprenticeship, please check out our page on Apprenticeships.

Will I get into trouble if I don’t go to school?

If you do not attend school between the age of 6 and 17 your parents can be fined!

Unhappy at school?

If you’re not happy at school, it’s a good idea to talk to someone about what’s going on. You may want to talk to your school counsellor or career counsellor.

Also check out this factsheet from Reach Out:  http://au.reachout.com/thinking-about-dropping-out#not

If you have any more questions about leaving school, you can get help here.

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The law is different in each state and territory. Please select your state or territory to view legal information that applies to you.