Year Thirteen

Year Thirteen is an educational year group in schools in many countries including England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Australia and New Zealand. It is sometimes the thirteenth and final year of compulsory education, or alternatively a year of post-compulsory education.


In certain Australian states, some schools will offer a ‘Year 13’ programme to students who wish to complete the usual one-year Year 12 programme over two years, or who were not successful in a sufficient number of subjects to attain the relevant Year 12 qualification on their first attempt. Year 13 students generally undertake standard Year 12 subjects alongside Year 12 students, and the majority of students will not undertake Year 13.[1]

New Zealand

In New Zealand, Year Thirteen is the second year of post-compulsory education. Students entering Year 13 are usually aged between 16.5 and 18. [2] A student may stay in Year Thirteen until the end of the calendar year following their 19th birthday. Year Thirteen pupils are educated in secondary schools or in area schools.[3]

Year Thirteen was previously known as the 7th form and students will be studying towards NCEA Level 3.

United Kingdom

England and Wales

In schools in England and Wales, Year 13 is the thirteenth year after Reception. It is normally the final year of Key Stage 5 and since 2015 it is compulsory to participate in some form of education or training in this year for students who finished Year 11 at an educational establishment in England. Students who finished their secondary schooling at a Welsh establishment do not have to stay in education or training even if they are a resident of England.

Those aged 17 on 31 August will become part of Year 13 on the first working day after that date.

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, Year Thirteen is the first year of post-compulsory education. Students in Year Thirteen are aged between 16 and 17. It usually forms part of a Sixth form or Sixth-form college.


  1. Guide to Social Security Law, Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, 19 October 1998
  2. "School years and levels". Team-up website. Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
  3. "Types of schools". Team-up website. Ministry of Education. Retrieved 10 January 2009.
Preceded by
Year Twelve
Year Thirteen
Succeeded by
Year Fourteen
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