‘Getting good exam grades is not a ‘make or break’ moment’
As young people get their AS and A Level results, Childline is offering support to those worried about their results.
The service, provided by the NSPCC, provided 1,133 counselling sessions to young people in Hampshire concerned about exam results in 2016/17 – a rise of 21% over the past two years.
Some 241 of the sessions were handled by the NSPCC’s Childline base in London. More than a quarter (28%) were in August 2016, when GCSE and AS/A-Level results are released.
The figures also show a sharp rise in the number of Childline counselling sessions for 16-18-year-olds related to exam results worries in 2016/17 – up 68% over the last two years.
Many young people told counsellors they were disappointed with themselves and worried their grades might affect them getting into the university or college of their choice, and others were concerned about their parent’s reaction to their results.
A teenage boy said: “I failed one of my exams and I’m so upset. I passed all of the rest but my parents are still really disappointed and have made me feel stupid and like a failure. I don’t know what to do now. I know I should be pleased with myself but I don’t. I’ve always had low self-esteem and this hasn’t helped.”
Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said: “We’d encourage young people not to be disheartened if they don’t get the results they hoped for. It’s important they remember they have options and talking to a friend or trusted adult can really help them see this clearly. Childline is also here 24/7 to listen to any young person worried about their results and needing confidential support and advice.”
Dame Esther Rantzen, Founder and President of Childline who lives in the New Forest, said: “Young people need to remember that getting good exam grades is not a ‘make or break’ moment and, whatever your results, there are options and opportunities to make a great future for yourself. This is proved by all the successful people who have made their way in life despite being nowhere near the top of their class.”
Childline has the following advice for young people:
- Don’t panic if you don’t get the results you were hoping for.
- You may have to make some tough decisions, but remember you always have options and you can get help.
- Everyone is different so try not to compare your results to your friends or classmates.
- If you’re disappointed with your results it can help to talk to a teacher or someone you trust about how you’re feeling.
Advice from the NSPCC for parents and carers include:
- Try not to place pressure on your children to gain certain grades.
- Your child may find it hard to talk to you about their results so be patient and supportive until they feel ready to open up about how they feel.
- Encourage your child to take their time to think about what they want to do next. There’s no need to rush into a decision straightaway.
- Help them think about their choices by writing down a list of pros and cons for each of their options.
A series of videos dedicated to helping young people through exams and life after school are available on Childline’s YouTube channel.
Children and young people can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at www.childline.org.uk