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GCSE results day: Careers advisors ready to take calls on special helpline

Top five tips for parents to help their teenagers through this testing time

Specialist career advisors will be on hand on the Exam Results Helpline(Image: UGC)

Teens and their parents waiting for GCSE exam results are being urged not to panic as the UK’s only specialist ‘pop-up’ exam helpline for students is open for them first thing this morning (August 24).

The Exam Results Helpline (0808 100 8000) is a specially-formed team of expert UK careers advisors who come together at the UCAS head office in Cheltenham once a year for the sole purpose of helping young people who receive unexpected exam results.

Created nearly three decades ago and funded by the Department for Education, the helpline provides impartial advice to anyone who receives GCSE results and wants to talk through their options.

The helpline is open on Thursday morning from 7.30am and remains open until Thursday, August 31.

On average, a quarter of the calls placed to the helpline come from parents asking the all-important questions about next steps.

Nick Hynes, a careers adviser who has worked for the service for more than 25 years said: “We are here for everyone who has questions but, in particular, for those people who want to find out all of the options available to them as well as sixth form.

“There are so many choices now and apprenticeships are growing in popularity as well as professional options and going to local colleges.

“Often it’s parents who want to help their children – this is an incredibly stressful time for some young people and it’s really important they don’t panic and call us as soon as they need to and we can work things out together.”

Exam Results Helpline advisor Nick Hynes has worked for the service for more than 25 years(Image: UGC)

The Exam Results Helpline has already helped thousands of students since A Level Results day both on the phone as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Advisers have been talking to callers about re-sits and retakes, gap years, Clearing, Adjustment, apprenticeships, funding and student accommodation.

The helpline number is 0808 100 8000 or find the Exam Results Helpline on Twitter or Facebook.

Further information including opening hours at www.ucas.com/ucas/undergraduate/apply-and-track/results/exam-results-helpline

In preparation for results day, Exam Results Helpline careers adviser Nick Hynes gives his top five tips for parents on how they can help their teenagers:

  • Don’t panic – do reassure: We take calls from students who are panicking that they haven’t got the results they need and the first thing we tell them is to try to stay calm. This goes for parents too! Try to remain positive, whatever the results. Your child may need reassurance from you that everything will work out and it will all be OK
  • Don’t get ‘FOMO’ (Fear of Missing Out) and rush into anything: There is no need to make quick decisions. Give your child time to reassess and have a good think about what they want to do before they start making the next steps into their future education outcomes
  • Know the options: Your child is legally bound to stay in full-time education or training until they are 18. Their three main options are: 6th Form; College; and Apprenticeships. With thousands of courses on offer, there will be something to fit your youngster’s personal tastes
  • Think local: There will be variations in your local environment so take some time to speak with local colleges and see what apprenticeships are available in your area through www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch
  • Pick up the phone: If you want to find out more information, clarity, support or advice don’t forget that the Exam Results Helpline is here to help parents as well as the students themselves so give us a call on 0808 100 8000 or Twitter @ERHelp or facebook.com/examresultshelpline.

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