A parent’s guide to GCSE results day

Is your son or daughter receiving their GCSE grades next week?

Results day is not just a list of grades of what your child has achieved but also a step towards the next stage of exploring the path to their career.

What options are available to them? What can be done to help them make that next step? The right step? These are typical questions asked by every parent.

Results Day can be extremely stressful for your child, so how can you help?

  • Make sure they are eating healthy and sleeping properly.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk about results.
  • Think positive and help put things into perspective, let them know that not achieving expected results is okay and that there are various opportunities available to them and discuss these.
  • Ask if they want you there when they receive their results, they may need that extra support.
  • Sit down with them and talk about what they want to do next, encourage them to have a few options.
  • Make sure you are prepared for all outcomes. Doing research beforehand can really help to give advice on different options.


The big day itself…

  • GCSE results are released on Thursday 23rd August 2018.
  • Results are published by exam boards from 6.00 am.
  • Schools and colleges decide when students can pick them up, but it’s generally around 10:00 am. The school’s website will have details on when you can pick them up.
  • Each school will have a pickup point, there should be directions on the day
    Results are handed to students in an unopened envelope.
  • Whatever happens, be proud of their achievements.


Whether the results are better or worse than expected, there are many options available to young people.

Further Education

If your child is considering going to university then they should think about doing A-levels or alternative qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate, or Scottish Highers if you live in Scotland.

Resitting Exams

If results are not as expected, don’t panic. Your son or daughter can consider resitting some of their exams. The majority of students who resit can improve their results. Regardless of what they plan to do next, it is now a requirement to retake both Maths and English Language until they obtain a Grade 4 or above.

Other options

University and higher education is not for everyone, has your child considered a more vocational route such as construction or childcare?

There are various options available in apprenticeships from nursing, engineering to law. These provide the opportunity for your son or daughter to earn a professional qualification and practical experience while earning a wage.

And, what if your child is still unsure of what to do next?

Firstly, don’t worry! Your child has received their results, good, bad or indifferent – there is nothing that cannot be sorted.

Keep talking to your son or daughter. Perhaps, you don’t know how to start the conversation – use this article to help or download our eBook ‘A Parents’ Guide to Careers Guidance.’

A careers programme like Kudos can help by providing informed choices about careers that might suit them. Check to see if their school has a subscription with CASCAID or consider buying an individual home user licence.

Talk to them about their results, discuss their suggestions and encourage them to look at routes into those careers.

Whatever the outcome, providing support and encouragement for your son or daughter about their decision is very important. Helping with their choices can really help make them take that next step to create a successful future.

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