Minister looks at raising school leaving age to 23
Tuesday 19 June 2012
The education ministry is looking into the possibility of keeping youngsters in education until they have either formal qualifications or reach the age of 23, education minister Marja van Bijsterveldt has told MPs.
At the moment, teenagers have to stay at school until they reach the age of 18 or pass school leaving exams.
Rotterdam had asked the minister for permission to experiment with the higher school leaving age in an effort to reduce youth unemployment. Bijsterveldt told MPs the measure is so far-reaching it needs to be formally investigated first. She expects a preliminary evaluation to be ready in the autumn.
The number of teenagers leaving school with no qualifications has almost halved over the past 10 years - from 71,000 in 2002 to 38,600 last year, according to education ministry figures.
The cabinet wants to reduce the number of unqualified school leavers to 25,000 a year by 2016.
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