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Encyclopedia > School leaving age

The school leaving age states the minimum age which a person is legally allowed to leave compulsory education. The majority of countries have their school leaving age set the same as their minimum employment age, thus allowing smooth transition from education into employment, whilst a few have it set just below the age at which a person is allowed to be employed. Compulsory education is education which children are required by law to receive and governments to provide. ...


In contrast, there are numerous countries which have several years between their school leaving age and their legal minimum employment age, thus in some cases preventing any such transition for several years. Countries which have their employment age set below the school leaving age (mostly 3rd world countries), risk giving children the opportunity to leave their education early to earn money for their families.


The table below states the school leaving ages in countries across the world and their respective minimum employment age, showing a comparion of how many countries have synchronised these ages.[1] The largest known gap between school leaving and employment age is in Peru, where a child by law must have an education up to the age of 18, yet can legally be employed at the age of just 12. There are however regulations in place to ensure that their work does not affect academic performance or school attendance, and employers are obliged to report regularly on the performance and attendance of students who they employ.[2]

Country De jure Education/
Employment gap
Notes
School leaving age Employment age
Algeria 16 ~
Andorra 16 ~
Argentina 15 14 -1
Australia 15 14 -1
Andorra 16 ~
Austria 15 ~
Bahrain nc 15 -
Bangladesh 10 nm -
Barbados 16 ~
Belarus  ? 14 -
Belgium 15 ~ Full-time education is compulsory from the age of 6 to 15. From the person's 16th to their 18th birthday, they are obliged to pursue at least part-time education, thus having a choice between full-time or part-time education.
Belize 14 12 -2
Benin  ? 14 -
Brunei nc 14 -
Bulgaria 15 ~
Burkina Faso 16 nm -
Burundi 12 16 +4
Cameroon nc 14 -
Canada 16
Cape Verde 16 14 -2
Chad 15 nm -
Chile 14 15 +1
People's Republic of China 15 16 +1 Compulsory education lasts 9 years. School leaving age is calculated under the assumption that pupils will enroll in school at age 6. While the government funds the majority of schools, students are often required to pay a tuition that covers textbooks, equipments and other expenses.
Colombia 15 14 -1
Comoros 14 nm -
Cyprus 15 ~
Czech Republic 15 ~
Denmark 16 15 -1
Dominica 16 12 -4
Dominican Republic 15 ~
Egypt 14 ~
Eritrea nc 14 -
Estonia 15 18 +3
Ethiopia nc 14 -
Fiji nc 12 -
Finland 16 15 -1
France (16) (16) ~ The statutory minimum school leaving age in France is 16. There are however a few specific cases where young people may enter employment before the age of 16, such as employment in the parents’ company, sporadic work or young people who have left school early taking up an apprenticeship at 15, to name a few.[3]
Gabon 16 ~
Germany 15 ~
Ghana 15 nm -
Greece 16 ~
Grenada 14 ~
Guinea 16 nm -
Haiti ni 15 -
Honduras 13 14 +1
Hungary 16 ~
Iceland 15 ~
India 14 nm -
Iraq  ? 15 -
Iran 16 15 -1
Ireland 15/18 ~
Israel 15 ~
Italy 16 15 -1 Length of schooling was raised from 8 years to 10 years in the 1999/2000 academic year. Children normally start school aged 6, so they would now normally leave aged 16, as opposed to 14 previously.
Jamaica 14 12 -2
Japan 15 ~
Jordan 17 16 -1
Kenya nc nm -
Korea 15 ~
Kuwait 14 ~
Latvia 15 ~
Libya 15 ~
Liechtenstein 15 ~
Luxembourg 15 ~
Maldives nc 16 -
Marshall Islands 14 nm -
Mexico 15 nm -
Micronesia 14 nm -
Monaco 16 ~
Morocco 13 15 +2
Netherlands 16 ~ Children may leave full-time education on the year they turn 16, but are still obliged to attend part-time education for 1 year thereafter.
Netherlands Antilles 15 12 -3
New Zealand 16 nm -
Niger 16 14 -2
Norway 16 15 -1
Pakistan nc 14 -
Palau 17 nm -
Paraguay 12 (15) nm - Since the initiation of the Education Reform in 1993, basic education is for a period of nine years, to the age of 15 years. According to the Constitution, compulsory education ends at age 12.
Peru 18 12 -6 The largest known comparison between education and employment, where a child can legally be employed 6 years before leaving compulsory education. Employers are obliged to report regularly on the performance and attendance of students who they employ, to help ensuring their education doesn't suffer because of their employment.
Philippines 18 17 -1
Poland 18 15 -3
Portugal 15 ~
Republic of Macedonia 15 ~
Romania 14 15 +1
Russia 15 ~
Rwanda 12 nm -
San Marino 16 ~
Seychelles 15 ~
Sierra Leone 15 nm -
Singapore nc (11)  ? - Although Singapore currently does not practise compulsory education, primary education was made compulsory for 6 years with effect from January 2003, and education is almost universal for primary and secondary levels.
Slovakia 16 14 -2
Slovenia 15 ~
Solomon Islands nc 12 -
South Africa 15 nm -
Spain 16 ~
Sri Lanka 14 10 -4
St Kitts and Nevis 16 ~
St Vincent and the Grenadines nc 14 -
Sudan nc 16 -
Suriname nc 14 -
Sweden 16 ~
Switzerland 15 ~
Syrian Arab Republic 12 ~
Togo 15 14 -1
Trinidad and Tobago 12 ~
Tunisia 16 ~
Turkey 14 12 -2
United Kingdom 16 ~ The school leaving age has been raised numerous times over the years in the UK, most recently in 1972. The UK Government plans to do so again in 2013 to 18. However this has faced fierce opposition.
United Republic of Tanzania 13 nm -
United States 18 16 -2 Parental consent needed for employment before the age of 16.
Ukraine 17 16 -1
United Arab Emirates 11 15 +4
Venezuela 14 ~
Vietnam 10 (14)  ? - Every child should receive an education up to the age of 14 years, although education is only compulsory up to the age of 10 years.
Zambia nc 14 -
  • ni denotes no information available
  • nc denotes education is not compulsory
  • nm denotes no minimum employment age
  • ? denotes the age set is unknown

See also

Compulsory education is education which children are required by law to receive and governments to provide. ... The Raising Of School Leaving Age (often shortened to ROSLA), is an act which states the legal age a child is allowed to leave compulsory education. ... The legal working age is the minimum age required by law for a person to work, in each country or jurisdiction. ...

References

  1. ^ http://www.right-to-education.org/content/age/table.html
  2. ^ http://www.right-to-education.org/content/age/peru.html
  3. ^ http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/eiro/2005/12/tfeature/fr0512101t.html

  Results from FactBites:
 
ePolitix.com - School leaving age (1112 words)
The education secretary's proposal to increase the school leaving age to 18 has received a cautious welcome.
Raising the school leaving age to 18 is inevitable.
We need to be clear that this is not strictly about raising the ‘school’ leaving age, but about keeping young people in some kind of education or training until they are 18, most of them full-time, including apprenticeships and work-based training.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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