A Level results – parents be prepared
1. Take the day off – although your son or daughter may seem laid back and not want you to be with them when they collect their results, you should be available if they need help or advice.
2. Plan some sort of celebration – bottle of bubbly in the fridge, special lunch whatever and carry this through even if the actual results are disappointing.
3. Keep calm – even if you are bitterly disappointed don't start on recriminations or equally act as though you don't care.
4. Just missed the grades – the results slip will give a breakdown of marks so you'll see if he or she has just missed the necessary grade a couple of points. If so it's worth phoning the institution to see if they will still offer the place.
5. Remarking – if the grades are significantly lower than those predicted, consult with teacher to see if they think it would be worth having some of the papers remarked. Act quickly as there is a limited timeframe for this and be aware that the new marks may not always be in the student's favour.
6. Better grades than expected? Students can seek an alternative place through Post Qualification Application (PQA). Alternatively if your son or daughter was already planning a gap year they can withdraw their application and reapply.
7. Clearing – act fast as these places go very quickly. Get your son or daughter to take advice from a careers or Connexions advisor at the school, college or local careers office. You can find out what places are still available through clearing on the UCAS website and in the Independent newspaper.
8. Offer advice and support for considerations like resits.
9. Be positive and don't compare your offspring's results with those of his or her siblings or friends.
10. Consider other options – university my not be the best choice for some. Think about apprenticeships, distance learning and on the job training.
Anne's books Applying to University - The Essential Guide (Revised for 2009) and University - A Survival Guide (Need2know) are both available from Amazon.