A-level Results Day: top tips from head teachers

29 July 2015
Posted by Heidi Salmons

The Telegraph, 29.07.15, stay calm, think carefully and avoid knee jerk reactions - head teachers across the country offer their advice ahead of Results Day and Clearing. HMC members Bernard Trafford, headmaster, Royal Grammar School, Newcastle, Nigel Lashbrook, headmaster, Oakham School, Rutland and Leo Winkley, headmaster, St Peter's School, York feature.

August 13, 2015. A-level Results Day. A date etched into the minds of students, parents and teachers alike.

The lead up can be tense, while the day itself will deliver a range of emotions depending on what happens when you open that all-important envelope in school or college.

For parents and teachers the day can be equally stressfull, so to help you through it, heads from across the country have put together their advice for the big day.

Bernard Trafford, headmaster
Royal Grammar School, Newcastle

"In advance: Be prepared!

Enjoy your post-exam summer. But be ready for Results Day. Check you know the phone numbers /contact details of your first and insurance choice universities. Be optimistic for the results: but it’s good have a Plan B up your sleeve, just in case.

Are you willing to go through Clearing if you miss your offer? What about a year out? What would you do with it?

If you are unsuccessful on the day and miss your university offer, be prepared to spend the next week ringing any/every institution. You must do it, not your parents or school. Be pushy and cheeky.

You can’t be too choosy, but must decide: is that particular subject vital? If so, keep phoning around. If place is more important, see if the university you want will offer you a different subject.

Be tough and resilient. Grab what’s offered. And good luck."

Nigel Lashbrook, headmaster
Oakham School, Rutland

"If your A-level results don’t turn out the way you expected, don’t make any knee-jerk decisions. Stay calm, think carefully and take advice.

Contact your chosen university and see if they'll still accept you: many will. You can have scripts remarked – we have seen some cases of considerable adjustments of late, though bear in mind that marks can also go down. Finally, you can always resit exams or consider alternative courses."

One for the parents...

Leo Winkley, headmaster
St Peter's School, York

"Be at the school in person, if at all possible - even if your child makes you wait in the car. If the results aren't as hoped, it's much easier to get advice on the ground and plan the next steps. If the results are good, go and celebrate somewhere else.

Book a lovely breakfast for 10am. They won't eat much before. Neither will you.

Write a short letter to your child before the results come out. Tell them everything you are proud of, no matter what the results. Give them the letter on Results Day.

If the results aren't what you'd hoped, seek and take the advice of the school. Don't go it alone. They've been through every results day scenario before and can work unemotionally and supportively to plan the next moves.

If you are abroad, make sure you have excellent wifi."

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