School leavers’ options when GCSE results arrive

Let college experts help you decide the next move when GCSE results land in the Fylde
Let college experts help you decide the next move when GCSE results land in the Fylde

Jon McLeod, head of admissions at Blackpool Sixth Form College, says the college can offer reassurance, whatever the results: “Students have an opportunity to further their study no matter what their results are. Some may be worried they are making the right choice but we are here to help answer their questions, and guide them through the enrolment process. We will be able to help guide everyone.”

Pupils will get their results in school on the morning of Thursday, August 25. Blackpool Sixth has already opened its online portal for students who have applied to the college. College staff will be enrolling students remotely online and by phone where necessary on Thursday 25 August in the afternoon, Friday, August 26, and Tuesday, August 30th.

If students have not yet applied to Blackpool Sixth but would like to join the college, they should contact the Admissions team at [email protected]

Some pupils may get better than expected results, and will be looking to review their options, with exciting new opportunities now open to them. Others may be disappointed, and will be asking questions about appeals and resits, or what alternative routes the college can offer.

Blackpool Sixth has prepared advice for parents on exam results day.

1. Keep calm and reassure your child

“The most important thing is to be calm and listen to what your son or daughter is saying and be aware of what they are feeling,” said Mr McLeod.

“It is important not to dismiss it and even more important not to enter into a ‘blame-game’ by saying ‘you should have worked harder’.

“Keep the focus on the present and any decisions which need to be made.”

2. Consider new options

Whatever your teenager’s results are there will always be a way forward.

“What may appear in the heat of the moment to be a disaster from the teen’s point of view can often be resolved quite quickly,” said Mr McLeod.

For example, Blackpool Sixth offers a Route3 programme which is a three-year programme leading to exactly the same outcomes as the two-year level 3 programme.

“With this programme we are able to help a lot of students who have just missed out on the grades they need to progress directly to the next level of qualifications.

“In the long-run, it really doesn’t matter whether the student needs to do an extra year to achieve level 3 qualifications – they will still have exactly the same opportunities to progress to university or alternative forms of education and training.”

3. Encourage them to play to their strengths

If your teenager excels at practical assessments rather than written exams, encourage them to think about vocational study as a positive rather than a ‘second choice’.

A-levels and BTECs (or other similar vocational qualifications) can be studied in almost any combination to make it even easier to play to your teenager’s strengths.

BTEC level 3 and other high quality vocational qualifications are equivalent to A-levels, can be used to accumulate UCAS points for university in the same way as A-levels and are also highly regarded by employers. Blackpool Sixth recently received the national BTEC College of the Year Award for its excellence in the delivery of these qualifications.

Of course, it might be that your teenager’s results are higher than predicted, making them realise they are better suited to academic study than they thought.

In this case, it is very straightforward to discuss changing options at college enrolment days.

“At Blackpool Sixth when we make the young person the offer of a place, we remind them they will only need to confirm their choices at enrolment, which this year is taking place online,” said Mr McLeod.

4. Get in touch

Whether results are better or worse than expected, encourage your teenager to talk to their college or apprenticeship provider as soon as possible.

“There are always plenty of people who will be very happy to provide support and offer guidance,” said Mr McLeod.

“Focus on the positives and on any decisions which need to be made.”


The enrolment hotline, offering advice and support will also be open from August 25 – call 01253 394911 or you can always email the Admissions team at [email protected]

Fleetwood Weekly News