Pupils offered help to deal with exam results stress

Children’s charity preparing for high volume of calls on Scotland’s exam-results day

Tes Reporter

Pupils offered help to deal with exam results stress

A children's charity is offering free, confidential support and advice to pupils in Scotland who are worried about their exam results.

Students across Scotland will get their results on Tuesday for various national qualifications.

NSPCC Scotland counsellors are preparing to help any young people with concerns by talking through how they are feeling and offering practical advice via its Childline service.

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The charity said counselling sessions at the Scottish Childline bases in Aberdeen and Glasgow for those worried about exam results rose 34 per cent in a year.

It dealt with 263 cases in 2018-19, up from 196 in 2017-18.

Aberdeen base manager Leanne Ferries said: "There can be an incredible pressure for children and young people during the exam period and this can turn to extreme anxiety around results time, especially if their marks don't match up to their expectations or hopes.

"They can often think these exams represent their last chance to make something of their lives but this is certainly not the case and there are plenty of other options for those who do not get the results they expect or need."

Ms Ferries added: "We've heard from pupils who've had panic attacks and severe stress and fear over their exams and potentially not getting the right grades.

"This can lead to depression, excessive crying, low self-esteem or even suicidal thoughts.

"Our message today is that Childline is here to discuss these issues and we would encourage every pupil who has not received the grades they wanted to remain calm and positive, and realise that next week's results are not the end of the world."

Childline's free confidential helpline is on 0800 11 11.

Meanwhile, Tes Scotland is publishing a series of pieces with advice and insight for staff, students and families in the run-up to and during exam-results day on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Renfrew High headteacher and School Leaders Scotland president Billy Burke wrote: “Of course, there will inevitably be some who feel disappointment after the envelope drops onto the mat or the email pings in the inbox. This is the nature of the system. Parents and teachers will be there to provide the reassurances and help to adapt the plan going forward.

"No one's journey through life is exactly as they anticipated, and the message I always spread at this time of year is: well done for the success, and where results were not as you wished, dust yourself down, regroup and go again. You are where you are – build from there."

*Tes Scotland will be live blogging on exam results day, Tuesday 6 August. See updates on Twitter @TesScotland

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