A-level results: Childline support for anxious students

PUBLISHED: 16:35 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:35 16 August 2017

Childline sees a rise in counselling for students anxious about exam results. Picture: Archant archive

Childline sees a rise in counselling for students anxious about exam results. Picture: Archant archive


As young people open their AS and A-level results, Childline is offering support to those worried about their results.

The service, provided by the NSPCC, delivered 1,133 counselling sessions to young people concerned about exam results in 2016/17 – a rise of 21per cent over the past two years.

Of these, 241 were handled by the NSPCC’s Childline base in London. And of those, more than a quarter (28pc) took place in August 2016 when GCSE and AS/A-level results were released.

Figures released today also show a sharp rise in the number of Childline counselling sessions delivered to 16 to 18 year-olds related to exam results worries in 2016/17.

Many young people told counsellors they were disappointed with themselves and worried their grades might affect them getting into the university or college of their choice, while others were concerned about their parents’ reaction to their results.

Anxiety and low mood were also mentioned when discussing exam results, with some saying they were struggling to cope with the pressure to do well and achieve top grades.

One girl who contacted Childline said: “I am so worried about my exam results that I feel sick. I studied all day and overnight for them. If I don’t get all As I’ll feel like I’ve let everyone down and my parents will be disappointed. I want to make them proud.”

A teenage boy said: “I failed one of my exams and I’m so upset. I passed all of the rest but my parents are still really disappointed and have made me feel stupid and like a failure. I don’t know what to do now. I know I should be pleased with myself but I don’t. I’ve always had low self-esteem and this hasn’t helped.”

Peter Wanless, NSPCC chief executive, said: “Waiting for exam results can be an anxious time for young people and can leave some struggling to cope. Pressure to achieve good grades and worries about securing further education places and jobs can be too much for some teenagers to deal with on their own.

“We’d encourage young people not to be disheartened if they don’t get the results they hoped for. It’s important they remember that they have options and that talking to a friend or trusted adult can really help them see this clearly. Childline is also here 24/7 to listen to any young person worried about their results and needing confidential support and advice.”

Childline has the following advice for young people:

* 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.

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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