A parent's guide to A-level results day 2019

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A zen-like parent ready for results day

Results day may be nerve-wracking for students - but let's face it, it's pretty tense for parents as well. If you want to be a bastion of calm in an increasingly frantic household, you've come to the right place.

For a two-minute guide to everything you need to prepare your darling ones for A-level results day, check out this video:


Here's what to expect on the day:

  • A-level results are out on Thursday 15th August 2019.
  • Exam boards publish results from as early as 6am.
  • When students pick them up is up to the school or college, but it's often around 10am. Check your son or daughter's school/college website if you're not sure.
  • When you arrive, students will be directed to the pick-up point – it's often the assembly hall.
  • Students are handed their results in an unopened envelope. It's up to them what they do with it...

'Know what to expect on A-level results day with our parents' guide'

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If things go to plan, that's it! Your son or daughter will soon be off to uni, or beginning that apprenticeship or first job.

Hopefully the air of zen you now project will calm everybody's nerves. But if they (or you!) are struggling with pre-results day anxiety, here are some tips on what you can do to cope with stress during the build up.

What if things don't go to plan?

If your child was planning to go to college or university, but doesn't get the grades they need to meet their offer, all is not lost. Facing an early setback can be a great learning experience, as Walt Disney, Richard Branson and Henry Ford could all tell you - but they'll need your support to reassure them that they haven't failed.

They may be able to keep their place or find a course at another university - but they could also consider a range of amazing paths.

Here's our five-part action plan:

If things don't go as planned, the first thing your child should do

is to get on the phone to their first and insurance choices

1. Contact their first and insurance universities

Your first or insurance choices might be able to be flexible, so get in touch as soon as you can. Don't email – find the number on their website and make sure you speak to someone.

2. Apply through Clearing

UCAS Clearing lets you apply for the university places that are still available after the main round of applications. This means you can choose from courses with lower requirements. 1 in 10 students uses Clearing each year. This year Clearing vacancies are removed from UCAS on 30th September.

Learn more about UCAS Clearing.

3. Consider other options

You may be surprised to hear it, but uni isn't the be-all and end-all. There are other things equally exciting things your son or daughter could choose to do with their career, such as:

A higher or degree apprenticeship

Degree apprenticeships are available in lab science -

traditionally a graduate profession

University isn't the only route to academic and career success after school or college. The new higher and degree apprenticeships give school/college leavers the chance to work towards higher education qualifications all the way up to master's level - all while training within a paid and highly skilled job. When told about the scheme, 61% of parents said they'd rather their son or daughter did a degree apprenticeship than an Oxbridge degree!

Learn more about:

A school/college leaver programme

These are a bit like apprenticeships – in fact, some of them are – and they're usually offered by big companies. You'll learn the job while earning a wage, and work towards professional qualifications too.

Learn more about school/college leaver programmes...

4. Use a gap year to think it over...

If your son or daughter is struggling to decide what's best for them before, they could take some time out to think properly about their future.

A gap year could be your child's opportunity to raise money and gain skills and experience through a job, resit exams, and think about the best option for them. If they decide against university, it will also give them time to find the most suitable job, apprenticeship, or school/college leaver programme. It might seem scary, but planning carefully might be a better choice than rushing into a last-minute decision they're uncertain about.

If you have found this article helpful, sign up for our parents' email newsletter so we can send careers advice to help you support your child straight to your inbox:


Images: Lead image via Freepik, Phone call via Flickr, Degree and higher apprenticeships via NASA


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