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If your child turns 16 between the 1 of October and 28 of February, they can leave school at the start of the Christmas holidays.
However, if they are no longer in education or training you won’t be entitled to claim for them as a child, and benefits you receive to take care of them will end. This includes Child Benefit, Tax Credits and elements of Universal Credit.
It’s important you tell benefits agencies that your child has left school to avoid being overpaid benefits, which you will end up having to pay back.
If your child continues to study, they may qualify for Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA), which gives financial support to eligible 16 to 19 year olds who want to continue learning. EMA is a weekly payment of £30, paid every 2 weeks in arrears.
Further information can be found here: www.gov.uk/education-maintenance-allowance-ema