Immediate actions

If your child did not get the results they were hoping for, remember to reassure them and let them know that they have lots of options. Make sure to include their teachers for additional support, as they will be the next best people to help your child with this situation.

As a parent, you will only want the best for your child. It can be an instinctive reaction to feel a sense of disappointment or upset, but try and stay calm and remember that your child will be naturally disappointed in themselves already.

The following are some suggestions as to how to respond to this situation:

  • It’s worth getting your child to phone their first choice of sixth form or college to check whether they can be flexible about their entry requirements. They may agree to the pupil retaking a GCSE while studying for their A levels or BTECs, especially if the grade they achieved was a near miss. If you can, make sure your child calls themselves, not you or their teacher, as this will demonstrate their initiative and maturity.
  • If not, they could contact their second-option schools/colleges.
  • They could retake one or more of their exams later in the year to try to improve their grades.
  • They could look at other course options with lower entry requirements, or think about doing an alternative qualification or an apprenticeship.
  • If they missed a grade very narrowly, or did much worse in a subject than predicted, you could ask the teacher to review the grade and ask them to make an enquiry to the exam board. The school can ask the exam board to check whether there has been an administrative error and to ensure the paper was marked correctly.

What to do next

Remember that your child's GCSE results are just the start of their qualifications through their education journey. With the right support at this stage, it will enable them to make choices going forward with your guidance too.

Even if your child's exam results get checked by the exam board, there is no guarantee that this will improve their grade - this is okay too. Your child may still be able to go on and get strong results at their next stage in education, and this experience in their GCSE's will prepare them for that next stage. 

Encourage your child to consider the factors which may have impacted their results, this could be due to a variety of factors:

  • Exam stress
  • Not understanding questions on an exam paper
  • Little revision or exam preparation 
  • Strength in other subjects 
  • Inaccurate grade predictions  

If you can work with your child to understand why their grades aren't as strong as predicted, you can set a plan in place to better prepare them for future exams, consider some of the following:

  • Separate exam rooms 
  • Revision timetable 
  • Checking for diagnosis of SEND, for example Dyslexia, ADHD, Dyspraxia
  • Reducing stress around exams - mindfulness, relaxation methods
  • Focussing studies on stronger knowledge areas