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Exam grades not only way to a successful future: NSPCC



Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

This week, hundreds of teenagers across Northern Ireland will be planning their next steps in life after receiving their GCSE results.

For many, this will be a cause of celebration as they secure the grades they require to move on to A-levels, further education, or go directly into employment.

But for some others it will unfortunately be a stressful time as they fall short of their expected results. This is borne out by the growing number of young people contacting Childline at this time of year, seeking advice and support for exam-related worries.

At Childline, we never dismiss the concerns teenagers may have because exam results can be important depending on their chosen career path.

But, at the same time, we always try to reassure young people that getting good grades is not necessarily a make or break moment in life.

The main thing parents, or carers, can do when their children receive their results - especially if they weren't what they were hoping for - is not to panic.

Apart from that, we at the NSPCC in Northern Ireland, would advise parents and carers to:

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  • Be supportive and take time to listen to your child's worries;
  • Encourage your child to take their time to think about what they'd like to do next. There's no need to rush into a decision straight away;
  • Help them think about their choices by writing down a list of pros and cons and about each of their options;
  • Tell your child that everyone is different, so urge them not to compare themselves to their siblings, or friends. And remind them that many people who didn't do well at school have gone on to be hugely successful in life, including Bill Gates, Richard Branson and even Albert Einstein, and;
  • Remember: children can contact Childline at www.childline.org.uk, or over the phone on 0800 1111, anytime.

Neil Anderson

Head of NSPCC (NI)