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Children In Care

Achieving a good education is one of our main goals. We also want to support you with training, further education and employment opportunities.

Am I old enough to have a job?

Once you reach the age of 13, you can only do light work. This means that you cannot do any job that can affect your health and safety or may get in the way of your education. For example, you may be able to take on a paper round.

These restrictions last until you become 16 and have left school, when you become classed as a young worker. This means that you’ll have more choice in the jobs you can do. If you are 18 or over, you get the same work rights as adults. There are rules that regulate what times of the day you can work and for how long. These are different depending on your age.

There are a lot of rules that control working hours of children under 16, but the basic ones are:

  • during term time, you can only work for two hours on week days and Sundays
  • during term time, you can only work for five hours on Saturdays
  • during a school holiday, you can work for up to five hours on a week day or a Saturday
  • during a school holiday, you can’t work for more than two hours on a Sunday
  • you cannot work before 7.00 am or after 7.00 pm on any day

If you’re 15 or 16 and are working while you’re still at school, your rights are almost identical to those of 14 year olds. However, you are allowed to work for up to eight hours on Saturdays or during the school holidays.

Further education, employment or training

When you reach year 11 at school, you will have some important choices to make about your future, whether you want to stay on in education and go to college or university. You may wish to enter training or employment when you leave school. Whatever you choose to do, you can discuss these decisions with your carers, key workers, social worker or anyone else you trust. You will be able to gain advice from your school, your social worker and anyone else you trust to help you achieve your goals and wishes for the future.


Connexions is a support service that provides impartial information, advice and guidance about further education and career options for your future. They support young people between the ages of 13 – 19 and up to 25 for those with learning difficulties or disabilities. You can access connexions through your school as they work across schools, specialist schools, colleges and training provides. You could also ask your social worker to guide you if you want to seek some advice about your future career or further education options. Please see for more information.