In Scotland, you are eligible to leave school in winter or summer depending on when your 16th birthday falls.
A statutory summer leaver is a school leaver who chooses to leave school at the earliest opportunity (31st May) when they become eligible to leave school i.e. their 16th birthday falls on or between 1st March and 30th September in their year of leaving.
A statutory winter leaver is a school leaver who chooses to leave school at the earliest opportunity when they become eligible to leave school i.e. their 16th birthday falls between 1st October and the last day in February.
A post statutory leaver is a school leaver who chooses to remain at school past their statutory date e.g. a winter leaver who would have been eligible to leave at the winter leave date but chooses to remain at school until past the summer leave date. Included in this group are leavers who have passed their statutory leave date and have left school at any stage throughout the year.
It is essential for the school and Skills Development Scotland to know if you are going to leave in the Summer by the previous November so that they can help you to plan to ensure that you have an offer of post 16 learning well in advance of your leaving date.
If you plan to leave in the Winter, your school and Skills Development Scotland need to know by the previous June so that they can help you to decide and to plan for your post 16 learning options well in advance of your leaving date.
If you’re unsure about whether leaving school at 16 is the best option for you, speak to your Guidance Teacher, Careers Advisor or Youth Worker to help you decide what is best!