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Advice and support for Cornwall students on GCSE results day

Advice and support for Cornwall students on GCSE results day

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 4:42pm 22nd August 2019.

Advice is going out to students across Cornwall after thousands opened their GCSE results.

There has been a slight increase in the pass rate and the number getting top grades - despite concerns that new exams in England are harder.

It is the second year that numerical grades have been used after replacing the traditional A* to G grades as part of a general overhaul of the GCSE system in the last few years. 

It can be a worrying time for many of the teenagers, hoping to get the grades they need for the next part of their lives. This could include further study in college or starting an apprenticeship.

What to do if you didn't get the grades you wanted:

"Collecting GCSE results can be an emotional time for teenagers and their families alike, however, young people now have access to more pathways than ever before.

"While young people now continue in learning or training until they are 18, this does not mean they need necessarily to stay on in a classroom. Many will choose to remain in full time education, such as a school sixth form or FE College, however they can also opt for work based learning such as an apprenticeship or take part in part time education or training if they are employed, self-employed or volunteering for 20 hours or more per week.

"For anyone who is unsure what to do next, they can contact the National Careers Service which offers free and impartial advice and access to a range of online tools, including skills tests, course search, job search advice and personalised help from careers advisers."

Sally Hawken, the Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Wellbeing

The National Careers Service can be contacted in confidence by telephone on a dedicated careers helpline 0800 100 900, via web chat and email by searching online for the National Careers Service.

GCSEs and mental health:

School leaders are worried it has upped the pressure and could be affecting pupils' mental health.

On top of that, the NSPCC has revealed it has seen an influx of calls from worried and stressed students.

In 2018/2019, the charity reported that it delivered 1,414 counselling sessions to young people - rising by more than 50% since 2014/15.

A fifth of these took place in August as young people receive their GCSE and A-level results.

Reasons for young people seeking help from Childline include worries about whether they will get the grades they need to get into university and not wanting to let down their teachers and parents.

Children and teenagers also told counsellors they felt worked up and on edge, with some saying they were not able to sleep because of the stress of getting results. 

Headteacher at Penair School in Truro, James Davidson, says more work is being done to support young people.

"We have seen that there has been an increase in the amount of exams that students have had to take this year. And I'm certainly aware that more students have been struggling with that pressure and that mental health worry.

"However as a school we try and support them as best as we possibly can and help them manage that stress and that worry, and make sure that they understand that other students across the country are going through this, and try and help them with strategies to prepare them for that as much as possible.

"Anyone who didn't get the results they wanted should talk to us, and to make sure they are talking to their colleges or where they intend to go onto for further study, we can help support the children through that, whatever the outcome there is definitely next steps and the future can still be bright."

James Davidson, headteacher at Penair School

What about advice for next year's GCSE students?

"Start working sooner, don't leave it to the last minute, have a plan, be well organised. 

"But equally make sure you are keeping things in balance and make sure you are doing some other things outside of school to decompress and have a bit of an off switch from your studies as well."

James Davidson, headteacher at Penair School

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