Childline reports increase in counselling sessions ahead of A-level and GCSE results

The number of counselling sessions carried out by Childline about exam results always peaks in August, says the charity.

As students across the county collect A-level results on Thursday (August 15), a charity is sharing some advice for both parents and teenagers.

Childline says concerns over school grades peaks in August, leading to a rapid rise in the amount of support it is called on to offer.

Students contact Chidline worry about exam results
Students contact Chidline worry about exam results

In 2018/19 1,414 counselling sessions were delivered to children and teenagers – increasing by more than 50% since 2014/15

A fifth of these took place in August as young people received both A-Level and GCSE results.

A growing number of young people are turning to Childline, deeply worried about exam results, says the organisation.

Reasons for getting in touch include worry about which grades they will get, meeting university requirements and not wanting to let down parents and teachers.

Young people also sleeping problems to Childline's trained counsellors because of the stress of getting results.

Scroll down for advice for both students and parents

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive said: “We know that waiting for and receiving exam results can be a difficult time for young people, but they should never feel like they have to deal with these worries alone.

“Reaching out to a parent, teacher or by contacting us at Childline will hopefully put things in perspective and make them feel more positive about receiving their exam results and what comes next.”

Counselling sessions increase in August as students face collecting exam results
Counselling sessions increase in August as students face collecting exam results

Childline has the following advice for young people collecting results this month:

  • 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.

And advice from the NSPCC for parents and carers includes:

  • 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
  • Children and young people can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at

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