Parents: Be ready for GCSE results day (2019)

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Students looking at their grades

Getting ready for exam results for the first time can be scary for parents as well as students! This quick guide will keep you cool as a cucumber as you help your little darlings prepare for the big day.

Only got a few seconds to spare? Check out this video to get the key details:

Here's what to expect on the day:

  • GCSE results come out on Thursday 22nd August 2019.
  • Results are published by exam boards as early as 6am.
  • Schools and colleges decide when students can pick them up, but it's generally around 10am. You'll find the information on your child's school/college website.
  • Students are directed to the pick-up point, often the assembly hall, when they get to school/college.
  • Results are handed to students in an unopened envelope. Then it's over to them...

We really hope things go to plan! If so, they'll be off to start the next stage of their education or begin their apprenticeship or first job.

If you or your child are struggling to cope with pre-results day nerves, here are some tips to help you manage the anxiety.

'Make sure you're ready for GCSE results with this parents' guide'

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Making sense of the new grades

Maths, English literature and English language and some other subject are now graded 9 to 1 instead of A*-G:

New grades

Old grades

9 A*
8 A* / A
7 A
6 B
5 C / B
4 C
3 E / D
2 F / E
1 G / F

If things don't go to plan...

Your son or daughter could...

1. Consider resitting some exams

GCSE resits

Resits are worth considering if your child is

planning to go on to A-levels or highers

If your son or daughter doesn't get the results they were hoping for, it's possible for them to resit their exams. The majority of students who resit improve their results, so if your child is dead set on continuing to A-levels, highers or another academic qualification, encourage them to talk to their school or college about resitting.

To avoid making the same mistakes the second time round, and for tips on improving their performance in resits, take a look at this guide.

Resits aren't always the best option, particularly if your child is open to vocational options after their GCSEs. In this blog, secondary teacher Michael explains why resits may not be the right choice for everyone. This brings us neatly to our second suggestion...

2. Think about doing an apprenticeship

Whether or not your child gets the results they were expecting, if they're still unsure about A-levels, it may not be too late to consider beginning an apprenticeship in September:

  • Apprenticeships are a paid job with training
    An apprenticeship is a paid job with training and the opportunity to study for work-related qualifications. Today, apprentices can study all the way up to degree level.
  • At 16, your child can apply for an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship.
  • An intermediate apprenticeship is equivalent to 5 GCSEs. Apprentices can work towards functional skills in numeracy and literacy if they don't have enough GCSEs. It could be the first step to an...
  • Advanced apprenticeship: Equivalent to 2 A-levels. Employers typically look for 5 GCSEs at grade C+/4+, but some will include functional skills as part of the programme for apprentices who don't have have enough GCSEs.
  • An apprenticeships is a great choice for school/college leavers who would prefer to learn a skilled job while earning a wage than get further academic qualifications.
  • Apprentices normally include vocational qualifications such as NVQs or diplomas.

An apprenticeship may not be the best choice for your child if they want a job that requires a university degree, or would like to go to university because they're passionate about a particular subject.

It is worth bearing in mind that it may be possible for them to progress to a higher or degree apprenticeship - work-based programmes which allow apprentices to study for a foundation, bachelor's or even master's degree.

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 Flickr, Resit via Flickr, Young engineer via NASA


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