The Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 came into force on Monday 27 February 2023.
Previously, people could enter a marriage or civil partnership at age 18, or 16 to 17 with parental or judicial consent. The Act has raised the minimum marriage and civil partnership age to 18, removing all consent requirements.
The Act extends previous forced marriage legislation, so it is now an offence to carry out any conduct causing a child to marry before their eighteenth birthday, even if violence, threats or another form of coercion aren’t used.
Marriage and forced marriage are taught as part RSHE.
The DfE are asking schools to ensure that teaching now covers these points. Further forced marriage guidance is available here.