Early school leavers is a relevant priority for the UK as it has a higher rate of early school leaving (13,5%) than the EU average (12,7%). Early school leaving has a negative impact both on the individuals concerned and on society at large in terms of holding back economic performance and undermining democracy. In the UK the group of interest, however, is NEETs among 16-24 year olds rather than early school leavers. The number of NEETs has declined in recent years to the point of reaching pre-crisis levels, but the percentage of NEETs among 19-24 year olds is almost twice as high as among 16-18 year olds. Paradoxically, government policies primarily target the younger age group, with the extension of compulsory education and training to age 18 likely to be the most effective measure to further reduce the number of NEETs in this category. The little it has done influencing the older group has had negative effects: the decision to increase tuition fees to 9000 pounds has led to a dramatic decline in the numbers of 19-24 year olds enrolling in higher education. The UK appears to have developed its policies on NEETs largely independently of European policy initiatives.