The minimum school leaving age should be risen to 17, and perhaps even to 18 years.
This statement can be justified by recent research by Dr Matt Dickson in which he investigated the income of 2,266 men working in Britain between 1991 and 2006. His research shows that boys who have spent one year longer at school earn 13% more than those who have left school at the minimum school leaving age of 16 years. Even though Dr Dickson points out that the higher wages might also be caused by higher abilities or personal characters, he is convinced that prolonged education with just one year does have a positive effect on future wages.
Longer education is not a bad idea. A child of 16 is not adult enough to enter into the life of responsibilities and duties that a working life entails. Furthermore, most people have not chosen a profession at that age. They still need to learn, experiment, and let their personalities grow. This is done best in a safe environment: a school. Here, they can be guided through the choices that will greatly influence their professional lives, as well as their personal lives. In this respect I agree with Dr Dickson, although I wonder why he limited his research to boys. In my opinion the wages of working girls would have been just as interesting.