Parents of teenagers preparing to receive their exam results are being reminded the Department for Education’s Exam Results Helpline is open again in August to help stressed-out young people and their families.
The 40-strong team of career advice experts provide free, specialised information, help and guidance to students who have higher or lower exam results than expected.
Last year more than 7500 students called to speak with an advisor on the Helpline’s 0808 100 8000 number as well as through dedicated Twitter and Facebook accounts. Students make the bulk of the calls, but a quarter are parents reviewing options for their children.
The helpline number 0808 100 8000 opens in Scotland first on August 8, when Higher, Advanced Higher, National and Scottish Baccalaureate results are announced and closes North of the Border on August 16.
It is then open for students in the rest of the UK on August 17, the day A Level results are issued and closes on August 31 following GCSE results on August 24.
A full timetable of opening hours can be found here.
The three top reasons for calling:
What are my options for clearing? (26%)
My results are lower than I expected – what now? (20%)
I don’t know what to do and need careers advice (12%)
One of the students was Molly Claridge, from Chelmsford in Essex, who had just received grades that resulted in her thinking she would not be able to achieve her first choice degree of Media and Communications at Bath Spa.
Molly, who is now 19 and just finished her first year at Bath Spa, explained, “When I looked online and saw my grades, I really freaked out as I got lower than I thought. It was so nerve wracking anyway, with all the build up to it and so the day itself was pretty traumatic.
“The thing that was confusing was that it said I was still going to get into Bath Spa but I couldn’t really believe that without checking it out properly.
“I called the helpline number and spoke to someone who was so helpful and immediately told me what to do. Their advice is commonsense, things like calling the university itself, speaking with tutors, looking at all the other options available – things you really need to hear if you’re worried and don’t know what to do.”
The Helpline is supported by the Department for Education and run by UCAS from its headquarters in Cheltenham.
The advice covers what to do if students haven’t secured the grades they predicted or if they’ve changed their minds about their chosen course. There is also guidance on next steps for students whose grades are better than expected, help with Clearing and information on apprenticeships and vocational courses.
Annie Dobson, one of the career advisors who will be supporting the helpline this year, said, “This is an exciting but sometimes worrying time for students and their families. There is so much expectation on the morning of the results days for A Levels and GCSEs that having a friendly, expert, safe pair of hands to turn to is beneficial – for students and parents alike.
“Through the years, advisors have helped tens of thousands understand the best way forward no matter what they are facing. The team for 2017 has already been assembled and are looking forward to supporting this year’s young people as they move into the next stage of their lives.”
Further information including opening hours can be found here