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Can The Duke of Ed help my teen at school?

Learn more about The Duke of Ed and how it can help your teenager at school

Two young people reading a map in the bush with bikes

Key Points

  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award (The Duke of Ed) is for young people between the ages of 14 and 24.
  • The Duke of Ed allows young people to develop their skills, participate in extra-curricular activities and provides them with international recognition.
  • The Duke of Ed provides many benefits to young people both while at school and post school.

What is The Duke of Ed?

The Duke of Ed is an internationally recognised youth development and non-formal education framework, providing young people between the ages of 14 to 24 with the opportunity to learn through individual goal setting and self-improvement.

The Duke of Ed provides young people with an individualised and flexible learning environment where they take responsibility for their own learning, and teachers provide assistance and guidance where necessary.

The Duke of Ed provides young people with unique opportunities to explore their passions, develop their leadership skills, and make a positive impact in their communities. These opportunities lead to increased attendance at school and participation in extra-curricular activities. For teens struggling for motivation to attend school, The Duke of Ed provides an incentive to keep going by providing fun, challenging and rewarding activities and skills. The Duke of Ed prioritises young people’s wellbeing and engagement, fostering their resilience, mental health, and a sense of belonging.

The Award framework is comprised of three levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) and four sections (Physical Recreation, Skills, Voluntary Service and Adventurous Journey). Young people complete all four sections at each level in order to achieve a Bronze and Silver Award or five sections to achieve a Gold Award.

Table outlining the Duke of Ed framework

What are the benefits?

By participating in The Duke of Ed, young people not only expand their horizons but also gain a competitive edge in their future careers.  Some of the benefits include:

Future employment

Many employers recognise young people who have completed The Duke of Ed. This is helpful if your teen is looking for casual work, apprenticeships or graduate employment after school. Many employers include the question ‘did you complete The Duke of Ed?’ on their application forms. This is because Award recipients have demonstrated skills, behaviours and attitudes to really succeed. Although they don’t promise employment to those with an Award, they recognise the Award and value it as a qualification for employment on a young person’s CV. You can see the full list of Duke of Ed employers here.


The Duke of Ed fosters skills to make participants work-ready, increase their confidence, problem-solving, organisation and team skills.

QCE Credits

The Duke of Ed is a recognised course of study for the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE). Completion of The Duke of Ed can earn a young person up to four credits toward their QCE – 1 for Bronze, 1 for Silver and 2 for Gold.

Recognition at university

Several universities acknowledge that students who have completed The Duke of Ed are independent thinkers and can achieve their goals. You can find out more here.

How can my teen participate?

The Duke of Ed is available to all young people aged between 14 and 24, regardless of their background, circumstance or ability. To find out where your teen can get started with The Duke of Ed, check if your school or local youth organisation is an Award Centre.  If they are not, you can search for an Award Centre here or email

Last Updated: 22 February 2024