Now to the question of school leaving age in the UK and whether someone who is 16 years old can do exactly as they please.
When can someone officially leave school and be free to do exactly as he/she pleases? This is an abstract from Section 8(4) of the Education Act 1996.
"A new single school leaving date has been set for 1998 and all subsequent years. This is the last Friday in June in the school year in which a child reaches age 16. In 1998 the date is 26 June. Until that date:
a. Parents and guardians must ensure their child's participation in education, at school or otherwise;
b. Local education authorities (and/or the Funding Agency for Schools) must secure the provision of suitable education;
c. Employers may not employ a child full-time;
d. Training providers may not provide full-time Government sponsored training."
So, let's say that a young person reached the age of 16 on 22nd September, 2007, when could that young person leave school, get a job and do exactly as she pleases? According to the legislation quoted above, since the birthday falls within the school year, the official school leaving date for that young person would be the last Friday in June, 2008.So, until that date in June, 2008, someone whose 16th birthday was 22nd September, 2007, would not be able to get a full-time job, and would possibly be sought by a truancy officer, if not attending school full-time.
I hope this helps the person who submitted the rather long comment to the Samantha Osborn post. if you have any further doubts, I would advise you to contact your local education department where you are living, or your local Social Services Department, who will be very pleased to assist you.