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GCE A-level and GCSE

Question for Department for Education

UIN 27648, tabled on 29 June 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to provide (a) clearance, (b) career, (c) other next steps and (d) emotional support for students receiving GCSE and A Level results in summer 2022 in the event that they do not get the grades they were hoping for.

Answered on

21 July 2022

The department will continue to support students to ensure they can go on to their next step in life following GCSE and A level results days, whether that’s further education, university, on-the-job training, or moving into employment.

This year, the department, in collaboration with Ofqual, has put in place a package of measures in place to ensure that students can take their exams fairly, recognising the disruption that this year’s students have faced. In addition, this summer Ofqual will ask exam boards to set grade boundaries in a way that avoids disadvantaging some students who might otherwise have just missed out on a higher grade. This package of adaptations, combined with Ofqual’s approach to grading, provides unprecedented support to maximise fairness and help students reach their potential.

Students can also seek advice from the Exam Results Helpline run by the National Careers Service, which will be open between 18 August 2022 and 2 September 2022. Young people or their parents can contact the helpline on 0800 100 900 to speak to a local professionally qualified careers adviser if they need advice on their next steps after receiving their results.

There are a number of options, as well as support, available to students who do not achieve the GCSE and A level grades that they were hoping for. As always, the department encourages students to talk to their school or college for advice, or to their preferred university, who may be able to offer some flexibility and still provide a place. Just as they do in any normal year, UCAS will help thousands of students to find places through Clearing if they need or choose to explore other options once students have received their grades.

The department knows that the period when results are released can be a worrying time for young people. Schools and colleges are responsible for supporting their students through examinations and should have strong pastoral support in place to help deal with any worries they might have, including over their results or future, throughout the year.