Leaving School


Talk and think about your options

Consider your options - and what you want to do next.

Discuss your options with your family as well as your school careers coordinator or teachers that you relate to well.

They may have some good information and life experience to help you make a decision.

If you’re not sure about where you’re heading, completing the Plan My Career section is a great place to start.

This section offers information and tools to help you understand your long-term career and life goals.

Looking at what jobs or career you may like to do one day may also help you consider whether leaving school or alternative education is the right option for you.

Use the links on the right-hand side to help you as you go, and check out the A-Z Resources for further support.


Leaving School

What leaving school means

If a school environment is not the best option for you, Year 12 (VCE or VCAL) can be completed in other settings; perhaps at a different school, a VET provider or a Learn Local organisation.

Young people under the age of 17 are legally required to be in education, training or employment.

Consider chatting with a mentor to get information and advice from someone who is usually older and has work and life experience.

There are also professional qualified career practitioners who can also provide you with advice when you’re thinking about your future.

You could also talk to a Learn Local, university or TAFE organisation to consider what other options are out there.

Consider your options

Work Experience

What is work experience?

Work experience is a great way to find out about the world of work before you leave school.

You can try out an industry and see if you like it and if it matches your ideas about it.

You may have an idea of what it could be like, but actually working in the job could be completely different to what you thought!

You can learn great skills like communication and teamwork and you can get great references or even continued part-time work.

You can also undertake VCE, VCAL, VET, SBAT & Learn Local programs to help you get ready for work while you’re at school.


Alternative Secondary Study Options

VCE, VCAL, VET, SBAT & Learn Local programs

Choose from a number of alternative secondary study options:

VCE, VCAL, VET, SBAT & Learn Local programs

If you have decided to try alternative schooling, you will need to adjust to your new surroundings and get to know the people you will be studying with.

Seek help when you need it so that you can stay focused on your studies.

Consider your next step – Learn Locals are here to help with planning your career and training options.

Click here to contact a Learn Local organisation near you.


Other Study Options

Interested in further study?

There are many different ways you can study, train and prepare for the workforce.

Explore more choices in the Study Options section of this career hub. Find information on:

  • Short courses
  • Learn Local programs
  • Traineeships
  • Apprenticeships
  • TAFE and Vocational Education
  • University




Taking a Gap Year

If you’re not sure what to do after finishing Year 12, you might consider taking a gap year.

A gap year is a year before beginning university and after finishing high school.

Some people take time to travel overseas and take casual work before they jump into work or study.

In a gap year, you might try further academic or non-academic courses, a trade, volunteer work, travel, internships, sports and more.

It can be a great time to gain experience in your area of interest or find out about the world of work.

You might choose to take a gap year if you:

  • are not sure what you want to do in the future
  • didn’t get into the course you really wanted to do
  • want to take a break from studying
  • want to gain skills and experience to get into a course
  • want to make some money before going to university/TAFE
  • are interested in travel.

Consider your budget and finances when contemplating a gap year, and what you may need financially to travel or study.