Leaving school at 16: What are the rights for students that are under the age of 18

Leaving school at 16: What are the rights for students that are under the age of 18

Australia is facing a shortage of skilled trade workers as there's been a shift to concentrate on getting kids into university over TAFE or learning a trade. Welcome to Sisters In Law, news.com.au’s weekly column solving all of your legal problems. This week, our resident lawyers and real-life sisters Alison and Jillian Barrett from Maurice Blackburn tackle your legal rights when it comes to leaving school “early”. QUESTION: I am 16 years old and desperate to leave school. I’ve always hated it, and wanted to leave to be tradie ASAP. I’ve recently secured an apprenticeship, but my parents are saying they won’t let me drop out to pursue it. It’s my life, not theirs. What are my rights when it comes to leaving school under the age of 18? – Jarred, VIC ANSWER: Jarred, it would be frustrating when you’ve chosen your career path and you feel like there are hurdles preventing you from pursuing it. There are laws governing education that impact on you and your parents. The legal age to leave school varies across the states and territories in Australia. For example, in Queensland you must stay at school until you turn 16 or finish Year 10 (whichever is first). In Western Australia you can apply for an exemption, but it will only be considered for students in Year 10 or above who will be at least 15.5 years old that year. As you’re in Victoria, the laws in that state will apply ...
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