Got a question? Ask Lawmail

Send your questions to Lawmail

Can't find the info you are looking for?Got a problem you can’t solve?

If you're under 25, or an adult asking on behalf of a person under 18, you can send your questions to Lawmail and we will email an answer to you in under 10 days. Urgent matters are dealt with more quickly.

Go to Lawmail. It’s free and confidential.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

When can I leave school?

If you are under 25 and you are unsure about your rights or responsibilities or what to do next, you can get free, confidential legal advice at Lawmail.

When can I leave school?

What happens if I don't go to school?

Unhappy at school?


When can I leave school?

In Western Australia, the law says you have to stay in school until you finish Year 10, turn 18 or get to the end of the year you turn 17 and a half.

If you want to leave school after year 10, you have to work or study full time in another education or training option (like full-time TAFE, apprenticeship, work, or a combination of these things. You can start your apprenticeship or traineeship while you are studying part-time at school, as long as your parent/guardian tells the Minister of Education in writing.   You can find out more about how to apply here.

Visit here for more information about traineeships and apprenticeships.

If you want to work full-time, you’ll need to get permission from the Department of Education.   You can find out more about how to apply here.

What happens if I don’t go to school?

You can be fined if you do not go to the schooling program you’re enrolled in.  Your parents can also be fined if they aren’t making sure you’re going to your program.

If you miss a lot of school without a good reason, your principal can send you to an Attendance Panel.  This is a group of people who will talk to you and your parents about why you aren’t coming to school, and they will try and work out a way to get you to come to school more often. 

If you have chosen to leave school after Year 10,  you must follow the rules and requirements of whatever program you’ve chosen (e.g. an apprenticeship).  If you do not follow these requirements, you may have to go back to school again until the end of the year that you turn 17 years and six months old, or until you turn 18 (whichever comes first).


Unhappy at school?

If you’re not happy at school, it’s a good idea to talk to someone about what’s going on.   You may want to talk to your school counsellor or career counsellor.  

Also check out this factsheet from Reach Out


This page was last updated 6 March 2015.




  Insert text regarding ALL STATES here.
  You can choose to insert either:
     · Content that directly applies to ALL STATES of Australia.
     · A footnote that will be seen below the existing content of each state.