Flexible and permeable education systems enable learners to move within and across education, training and employment. Flexibility means that young people can adapt their learning pathways as they go along, to suit their interests and abilities.
In systems that lack flexibility, it is difficult for young people to make the transition from one learning pathway to another. They may find that they are restricted to their original choice, even if they come to realise that this choice isn’t right for them. This can be a factor leading them to drop-out.
Repetition of learning can also be demotivating for young people. Learners who are able to switch courses, but are required to start from the beginning again, can become discouraged by the need to repeat content they have already covered in their original course.
Flexibility in the delivery and timing of learning opportunities means that young people who have other demands on their time can continue to work towards their chosen qualification, or can return to learning if they have already dropped out.
Young people facing barriers to learning or who have had to interrupt their education may also benefit from an extended time-period allowed them in order to complete their studies, or the possibility to attend courses on a part-time basis, or an alternative teaching method (e.g. online learning).