If your child wants to leave school early

This page includes options if your child wants to leave school early.

This can sometimes happen if:

  • they're having difficulty studying
  • they learn things easier in a hands-on environment, rather than a classroom
  • there's problems with their friends or health.

The legal leaving age is 17

In Victoria, the law is:

  • Your child cannot leave schooling until they are 17 years old.
  • Your child must go to a school campus (or an approved alternative) until they finish year 10.
  • After year 10, your child does not need to go to a school campus. But they must take part in education, training or employment for at least 25 hours per week, until they are 17 years old.

Talk to your school

Talk to your school careers coordinator and bring your child to the meeting. The coordinator can let you know about schooling options.

Finishing year 12 at a school campus may not be the best option for your child. There are other options, like finishing year 12 through:

  • vocational training, which is more hands-on learning
  • a school-based apprenticeship in a workplace
  • a Learn Local organisation.

The benefits of staying at school

Research shows that many students who leave school without finishing year 12 will:

  • earn less money when they start work
  • be more likely to have long periods of unemployment
  • be less likely to return to study later in life.

Encourage your child to stay in school and explore their options for finishing year 12. Finishing year 12 will help them later in life.