Leaving later has its advantages

2nd February 2007 at 00:00
Nicholas Woolley's argument against raising the school leaving age (TES, January 26) was long on anecdote but woefully short on evidence. I believe raising what should be called the "education leaving age" will be a positive move that will promote greater social equality.

There is a clear link between leaving education at 16 and indicators of socio-economic disadvantage such as low-income jobs or high unemployment.

Parents who left school young are more likely to have children who do the same. Forcing children to stay at school longer could help to break the cycle of disadvantage.

Mr Woolley failed to mention a recent study in Canada which found that tighter restrictions on the leaving age between 1920 and 1990 had helped to raise average attainment and average incomes. It found that students compelled to do an extra year of school experienced an average increase in income of about 12 per cent. It also found that compulsory schooling is closely linked to benefits relating to bilingualism, employment and poverty status.

Mike Ion Telford, Shropshire

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now