The National Curriculum is divided into four Key Stages that children are taken through their school life and sets out targets to be achieved in various subject areas at each of the Key Stages 1 - 4 which are compulsory.
Full details of the key stages are available from GOV.UK at the following links:
Further Education - OPTIONAL
Stage 5 Age 16-18 Year 12-13 Sixth form secondary/Further Education college
The minimum age at which a young person can leave learning is explained at this link.
You can leave school at 16 if you participate in one of the following:
So, in other words, after finishing GSCEs, there is now a choice between going to take A-levels and/or vocational qualifications, or alternatively participating in a traineeships or extended work experience.
Full details of further education options is avaialble at MAG Further Education section.
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