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Government Strategy & Legislation on Participation

In 2009 the Labour Government made the decision to raise the education leaving age for young people from 16 to 17 in 2013 and 18 in 2015. The aim is to ensure that every young person up to the leaving age participates in education or training even if employed. 

Further information on Raising the Participation Age can be found on the DFE website:

The current Government is continuing with this strategy. A consultation has been carried out on certain operational issues related to RPA. The DFE response to the consultation can be accessed here:

DFE Final Statutory Guidance can be viewed here:

Development work has been implemented in a phased way with Phase 4 coming to an end in March 2013. Certain Local Authorities have been acting as trial areas including Hertfordshire. Phase 4 widened involvement to more Local Authorities in England. Information about Phase 4 can be found here:

Evaluations of previous phases can be found below:


Hertfordshire Strategy

Raising the Participation Age Strategy: 2013-2015 updated

The latest Raising the Participation Age Strategy for Hertfordshire can be viewed here:


RPA in the Context of Hertfordshire

You may find this presentation to Heads of Hertfordshire 6th Forms a useful introduction to RPA in the context of Hertfordshire.


Raising the Participation Age for Hertfordshire residents

The following leaflets explain Raising the Participation Age for Hertfordshire residents.

RPA Raising the Participation Age



This is a black and white easy to print version of the RPA leaflet

RPA Introductory postcard

Everything you wanted to know about RPA - FAQS

The RPA Frequently Asked Questions document tries to answer all the questions you may have about Raising the Participation Age whether you’re a young person, a provider of education or training or an employer. If you can't find the answer to your question then please email:

Raising the Participation Age FAQs document


Engaging providers to deliver RPA:
Lessons learnt and models developed

This Powerpoint presentation helps to clarify the implications of Raising the Participation Age for Hertfordshire.


The above powerpoint presentation has 4 video links, if they don't work in your browser you can click on them here:

Lesson 1

Deliver a clear RPA message by Andrew Simmons, Services for Young People, Hertfordshire County Council.

56mkb, engaging_lesson1.wmv

Lesson 4

Consider the profile of the young people by Jane Davis, Education Consultant working with Romanfields Pupil Referral Unit and Dave McGachen, Curriculum Deputy at Pinewood MLD School.

52mkb, engaging_lesson4.wmv

Lesson 6a

The apprenticeship providers by Anna Morrison, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Provider Network.

82mkb, engaging_lesson6a.wmv

Lesson 6b

Social enterprise and self employment by Sharon Gaffney, WENTA.

57mkb, engaging_lesson6b.wmv


In Hertfordshire the strategy is being managed by the 14-19 Strategy Team. Operational issues are discussed at the Raising the Participation Age Project Board.

The Project Board members are as follows:


Raising the Participation Age Project Board

Andy Manson

Services for Young People Manager, Youth Connexions Hertfordshire, HCC

Tel: 01992 555 014

Anna Morrison

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Provider Network

Tel: 07969 023 642

Barbara Rumble

Knowledge & Information Manager, Youth Connexions Hertfordshire, HCC

Tel: 01438 843 686

Juliet Whitehead

14-19 Planning & Development Manager, 14-19 Strategy Team,

Tel: 07748 111 459

Kay Leach

School Effectiveness Adviser, Herts for Learning

Tel: 07825 522 565

Martin Sipsma

14-19 Planning & Support Officer, 14-19 Strategy Team, HCC

Tel: 01438 845 053

Mary Hurlstone

14-19 Progression Manager, 14-19 Strategy Team, HCC

Tel: 07785 594 701

Patricia Walker

LDD Strategy & Commissioning Manager, Youth Connexions Hertfordshire, HCC

Tel: 07887 850 265

Sharon Gaffney

Head of Education and Training, WENTA

Tel: 01923 691 364

Simon Gentry

Business Manager, Services for Young People, HCC

Tel: 07796 187 061


The RPA pilots came to an end in March 2013. However you can view the plans below:

Phase 4 Project Plan
Phase 3 Project Plan
Phase 2 Project Plan

Provider Notification Requirements

The Education Act 2010 specified that schools, colleges and other learning providers are now required to notify the Local Authority of any student included in the RPA cohort who commences or leaves education or training after the compulsory school age.

Hertfordshire County Council has developed a template that needs to be used when notifying them of starts or leavers. Frequency of submission of the template will vary dependant on education sector.

The Hertfordshire Secure File Exchange website allows schools to submit the template securely. Otherwise templates can be sent to but must be password protected.

This is the template that needs to be completed: New

For further information please contact Simon Gentry on'


Trial Areas

Information about the Phase 4 trial areas can be found on the DFE website:



Hertfordshire Activity/Events Updated

2013 Events

14-19 Partnership Conference:

Education and Skills Strategy New

21 November 2013

The conference had as a theme the importance of employment skills development in educational settings as well as the non academic opportunities available to young people post 16.  

The conference included prominent speakers such as:

  • The Right Honourable Barry Sheerman MP, co-chair of the Skills Commission,
  • Yolanda Rugg, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and
  • Lorcan Seery, Early in Career Manager at Santander UK

as well as a range of local practitioners linked to education and skills who will be running the workshops.

Workshops covered Apprenticeships, Employability skills, IAG, STEM, Traineeships, Professional learning, SEND Pathfinder and Entrepreneurial delivery.

Presentation materials


The Headlines from Hertfordshire including the role of LEP in terms of skills and education.

Andrew Simmons, Deputy Director - Services for Young People, Hertfordshire County Council

How best to equip students aged 14-25 years with the skills that employers need.

The Right Honourable Barry Sheerman MP - Co-chair of the Skills Commission.

Equipping Young People for the World of Work

Yolanda Rugg, Chief Executive Officer - Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce

Santander and the opportunities available to young people

Lorcan Seery, Early in Career Manager at Santander UK

Workshop Presentations

The Future Delivery Model of Work Related Learning and IAG in Hertfordshire

 Impact of STEM - A school's model of delivery

Professional Learning - A response to employability education for 16-19 year olds

Introducing Traineeships - What we should all know

SEND Pathfinder Preparing for Adulthood - The Hertfordshire and National picture

 The ever changing Apprenticeship landscape

 Entrepreneurial delivery and the importance of skills.

14+ Progression and Transition:

Designing the Curriculum for Employment and Life-Long Learning.

5th July 2013


Chris Jones outlined how the country needs a new approach to employability; students need to move beyond the ability to complete curriculum vitae to the possession and practice of real competencies suited to the work environment, to be work ready and not be work naïve. This workshop was set up as part of the ‘Raising of Participation Age’ (RPA) programme of CPD.


Presentation materials


Designing Curriculum for Employment and Lifelong Learning

PLP Case Studies

Competency Wheel

Learning for Living and Work Summer Conference: Preparing Young people for Adulthood - supporting transition for learners working at Level 1 and below.


19th June 2013

The conference explored practical ways in which we can support young people currently working at Level 1 and below to gain employment, live as independently and healthily as they are able to and become active members of their communities.


Speakers presentations

Overview of LLDD policy and SEND Pathfinder developments
Patricia Walker, HCC LDD Strategy & Commissioning Manager

This is a Prezi presentation (requires Flash) which may not be accessible through the HCC IT network.

Evaluating the impact of careers guidance for continuous improvement
Karen Adriaanse, HMI National Lead for Careers Guidance

Improving SEN provision through effective school to school support

David Bartram, Assistant Headteacher, Lampton School, Hounslow

Workshop presentations

Understanding the Preparing for Adulthood Transition Plan

Developing an inclusive apprenticeship and the work of the Knowledge Transfer Network

Exploring person-centred planning, 'Ideas for Life' resources

'The Ideas for Life software asks the young person the following questions.

Understanding changes in funding for pupils and students with high needs.

Facilitating the transition into work and harnessing high quality and appropriate information, advice and guidance.

Employability in the Curriculum: How one school has implemented an accredited programme that captures work-related learning, careers education and enterprise.

2012 Events

14-19 Partnership Conference:

Raising the Participation Age


14 Nov 2012

The conference had as a theme Raising the Participation Age. The conference included speeches from the Right Honourable the Baroness Estelle Morris, Steven Besley of Pearson Education and Andrew Simmons, Deputy Director, Services for Young People.

Various workshops were run including ones on Apprenticeships, Raising the Participation Age, Destination measures, Post 16 funding and others.

A review of the speeches

Speakers presentations

The Headlines from Hertfordshire: Challenges and Opportunities - Andrew Simmons

Right Honourable the Baroness Estelle Morris

Notes of the speech by Estelle Morris

The Changing Face of Education - Steve Besley

Workshop presentations

We have the jobs, where are the young people? Meeting the Hertfordshire challenge on apprenticeships.

Communicating the RPA message for Progression

The place of volunteering in the RPA Agenda

Impact of the rise in Tuition Fees on Decision Making to Progress to Higher Education

The New Post 16 Funding Formula

Making business engagement fun - The Dragons' Apprentice Challenge

Developing Foundation Learning from pre- to post-16

The Self Employment Route

Destination measures and the requirements for RPA

2011 Events

14-19 Partnership Conference



November 2011

The aim of the conference was to inform and challenge thinking on the education and training world post Wolf and the future key developments which will impact the 14-19 (up to 25 for LLDD) age group.

The conference included speakers such as Ken Spours from the Institute of Education, Sarah Mclean from DFE and the County Council as well as professionally led workshops on Apprenticeships, IAG, Changes in the Curriculum, UTC, Foundation Learning, Changes to Funding and LLDD.

Speakers Presentations

A Hertfordshire Perspective

Making sense of the new (and past) policy context

Wolf Review - Policy Update

Workshop Presentations

Apprenticeships in Action

Careers Guidance 2012

Focusing on NEETs - Creating Positive Progression Opportunities

LDD and SENs Green Paper

Post 16 Funding - Where we are now

Widening Participation

Working in Partnership

Conference Archive

Presentations from previous conferences can be found here:


SEND Pathfinder and RPA - Young Person's Preparing for Adulthood Transition Plan 14+ (April 2013)

Hertfordshire has adopted a multi agency approach to transition planning to ensure that the process is a more consistent, person centred and holistic experience for young people and their families.  The Learning for Living and Work Framework (LfLW) was introduced and endorsed by Justin Donovan, Chief Education Officer, as the Hertfordshire Transition Plan for all young people with a statement of SEND in September 2011.

However, the Department for Education, SEND Support and Aspirations Green Paper put forward proposals for a Single 0-25 Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) to replace the statement and Learning Difficulty Assessment (LDA) (Section 139A). They have asked a number of local authorities to test out how this might be taken forward. Hertfordshire is a pathfinder site for Preparing for Adulthood and the Raising Participation Age Work strands to test out these proposals.

The LfLW Framework has been evaluated and revised to align with these proposals and the revised Preparing for Adulthood (PFA) Plan brings together information from a variety of sources about future support needs so that planning can take place to enable a positive transition into young adult life.

The structure of the PFA 14+ Plan is made up of separate sections and appendices that facilitate a single, consistent, multi agency process of 14+ transition planning (currently the LDA (S139A) is an integral part of this process).  It is important to recognise that, while the process in the plan is recorded in a linear fashion, the young person will be exploring options through a process of impartial information, advice, guidance and transition planning from Year 9 until they leave school. Section A will be developed over this time.

The plan is in five sections and only the section applicable to a particular role and the young person’s needs is completed.  The completed section will then be co-ordinated by the Youth Connexions Personal Advisor linked to the young person.

The plan can be found here:

SEND Pathfinder - Workplace Support Guide

The following guide has been produced for the benefit of employers and others to aid with the understanding of the various learning difficulties and disabilities conditions that may be experienced by employees, apprentices and other individuals.



Identify & Planning

In 2009 a set of lesson plans and materials were produced to help young people identify their future plans.




L1 Learners

What are you thinking of doing

L2 learners


Who Can Help

Activity Sheet


Who Can Help You Decide

L3 Learners

So What can I do?


Lesson Plan

L4 Learners

So What Can I Do Bingo Game

Lesson Plan

Cards & Story




Additional materials specifically related to RPA


Module Famous Now

Module My Future Quiz Ppt for Activity Six

The various trial areas have developed resources that can be used when LAs plan for raising the participation age. Some of these resources are here:

Wakefield/Kirklees have developed a workbook which LAs can use to plan for RPA.

Sheffield have developed the Vulnerability Index Methodology which is primarily a data tool to support the identification of the most vulnerable young people within an LA area.

Further RPA resources are available on the Knowledge Hub of the Local Government Association.

Once registered you should join the Raising the Participation Age Group. 

Destination Measures

'The government produces destination measures data that helps to identify where students have ended up following their schooling. Further information can be found on the DFE website:


Case Studies

This is a useful case study on how an Enterprise day can help students focus on their future study/employment choices.

Stephanie says, “I would not have taken up Business Studies if we had not had the enterprise day from Wenta.  I am really grateful and really enjoy this subject area.  Hopefully one day I will be running my own business”.


Further case studies on the enterprise theme can be found below:

Wenta Case Study 1 - Birchwood
Wenta Case Study 2 - Birchwood
Wenta Case Study 3 - Birchwood


For further information about enterprise for young people please contact Sharon Gaffney at WENTA on 01923 691 364. Email:


Useful Websites/Documents

UCAS Search - 14-19 Courses

14-16 Alternative Provision

Hertschoices - for IAG resources
 Channel Mogo - for young people in Hertfordshire
National Apprenticeship Service - for apprenticeship information and vacancies
Department for Education website - for information on participation.
Other useful DFE website pages



City & Guilds have carried out a study of young people’s views around education and employment. There are some interesting messages emerging from the report which can be viewed here: