Age to leave school

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When can I leave School?

In Victoria, you have to go to school from the age of 6 until you turn 17 years old.  This can include home schooling.

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

  • Stay in school
  • Do approved education and training (including TAFE, a traineeship or apprenticeship)
  • Work full-time (at least 25 hours a week)
  • Do a combination of work and approved education and training

Whichever option you choose, you have to be working and/or studying for at least 25 hours a week.  To do any of these things, you will need to get your parents and school to fill in this form: https://www.eduweb.vic.gov.au/edulibrary/public/stuman/wellbeing/schoolexitform.doc

Your school doesn’t have to automatically let you leave and do these things. In making their decision, they will think about your wellbeing, your reasons for wanting to leave school, your best interests, and how likely you are to go and do what you’ve said you want to do.

In very special circumstances, you can get permission to leave school before you finish Year 10. If you want more information about this, please talk to your school or you can get help here.

For more information

For more information on all the options, check out this factsheet from YouthCentral: 

http://www.youthcentral.vic.gov.au/studying-training/secondary-study/leaving-school

What will happen if I don’t go to school?

If you don’t go to school, your parents can be fined or even taken to court. But if you have a reasonable excuse (for example you are sick), it’s okay to miss a few days. If you’re not going to show up at school, your parents have to let the school know.

Also, if you don’t turn up at school, you can be stopped by a School Attendance Officer in a street or a public place and they can ask you for  your name and address. It’s against the law if you don’t give this information to the Officer.

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.