In Victoria, you have to stay in school until you’re 17. After that it’s up to you if you want to continue studying or training.
People have different reasons for leaving school early. Sometimes it’s your choice. Other times it’s because of a situation that’s out of your control:
- Maybe you don’t like school or feel that it’s not worthwhile.
- Some of your friends could be leaving school early.
- You might want to start an apprenticeship or traineeship.
- You might want to start full-time work and earn your own money.
- Maybe you have to care for a family member or friend.
Talk to someone about it
Leaving school early is a big decision. It’s a good idea to talk to someone before you make up your mind, such as:
- a school counsellor
- a teacher you trust
- a youth worker
- a family member or friend
- staff at your nearest headspace centre or online at eheadspace.
What you need to think about
There are a few things you should consider before you make the move, like:
- Do you have a plan for what you want to do next?
- Will you still have a chance at getting the job you want?
- Can you start your apprenticeship or traineeship without completing Year 11 or Year 12?
- Will you have enough money to support yourself?
For more about what to think about, visit the Leaving School Early page on The Department of Education and Training website.
Finding a job
If you’ve left school and are looking for work, the first place you should visit is our Jobs and careers section. It's got information about what jobs are out there and how to get them, including:
- over 200 career profiles
- how to find a job
- applying for jobs
- information about apprenticeships and traineeships
- tips on how to deal with job interviews
- volunteering and work experience.
Support while you're looking for a job
While you're looking for work, there are government allowances and programs that can help out. To find out more, visit:
Returning to study
School leavers and mature age students can return to study or training at any time.
If you're thinking about going back to study, whether you want to study at high school, university or TAFE, visit our mature age study page for information on how to go about it.