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Under 17 Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to participate in an education, training or employment alternative?

Under the Education Act 2004 (ACT), parents are responsible for ensuring that their child is participating in their chosen education, training or employment alternative.  If a young person isn’t participating in an education, training or employment alternative their parents are committing an offence and can be called before a court of law. 

Why have the requirements of the Education Act 2004 changed?

These changes ensure that every young person in the ACT has every opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills they need to participate in the community.  It will lead to improved employment capacity and prospects, and increased earning potential for all young people.

It is also in line with the ACT Government’s commitment to increase the proportion of 19-year olds with a Year 12 Certificate or equivalent from 90 per cent to 95 per cent by 2013.

What if I want to leave school to enter the workforce, do work-related training or get an apprenticeship or traineeship?

You and your parents will need to seek an Approval Statement through the ACT Department of Education and Training to ensure the training you receive or employment you undertake meets the Department’s guidelines.

What if I want to study up to Year 12 but not in a school setting?

You can choose to study with an education provider such as the Canberra Institute of Technology.  For more information about non-school options, visit

If I'm enrolling at CIT, do I need an Approval Statement?

No.  An Approval Statement is not required if the course of study you intend to enrol in leads to the completion of Year 10 or Year 12, or, is an accredited vocational education and training course.

What if I have an Approval Statement and am participating in my work-related training or employment alternative but I want to go back to school?

You can return to school, but you do need to let the ACT Department of Education and Training know in writing. You need to complete a 'Notification of return to education' from with the Department.

If I am a full-time student do I need permission to work in a part-time job?

No.  You do not need permission to undertake part-time work in addition to your full-time studies.

What if I want to engage in full-time work, education or training interstate or overseas and I’m under 17 years old?

The legislative changes do not affect a child or young person of compulsory education age who is not living in the ACT.

If you are a child or young person of compulsory education age wishing to study, train or work interstate or overseas, you should contact the Department of Education and Training ( to discuss your individual circumstances.

Will this affect my Centrelink payments or other benefits?

Young people without Year 12 or equivalent will need to meet the new participation requirements in order to be eligible for income support.  More information about Centrelink payments is available from the Centrelink website:

How do I find out more?

Visit the ACT Department of Education and Training’s website ( or send an email to:

Call CIT on (02) 6207 3188 or email: