A Level results day – Is a Plan B needed?

Jo Lane

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Today is the day that will be marked in the calendar of many 18 year olds across the country, but what happens if they don’t make the grade?

Whilst it might feel like the end of the world, it is important to realise that life presents many challenges to all of us and we're all here still standing and living!


If a young person is faced with a challenge or disappointment, be there to support and remind them that it isn’t the end of their hopes and dreams. It is simply a roadblock to overcome and there are a number of options and steps they can take:

UCAS Clearing
Make this the first stop. Patience might be required, but many universities will have spaces on courses.

If a student feels that their grades don’t reflect how they felt their exam went, a remark is an option. Exam offices within schools and colleges will help facilitate this, but act quickly and also advise your chosen university. It is important to note a university does not have to keep the place open whilst a student waits for a re-mark.

Students can always choose to re-sit an A Level in order to improve their grade. Schools and colleges can accommodate a revised study programme which will allow students to find a part-time role and develop key employability skills, alongside an extra year of study.

Take a GAP Year
Take a year out and review career options whilst working, volunteering and travelling the world. For some, it is this year away that can transform, ground and clarify their future.

Another option is to continue studying, earn money and gain work experience. Choosing to pursue an apprenticeship can lead to great career prospects without the debt of university fees.


"Demonstrating how they faced a challenge and bounced back from a set-back will be viewed favourably by a future employer"

Resilience is a quality employers’ value, so encourage students to turn a negative into a positive! 

I’m a strong believer in ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, you just have to work hard to find it.
You as an educator can support and encourage our generation of young people to do just that!





About our Community Expert

Head of Careers at The Windsor Boys' School

Combining her business experience with an ability to engage KS4&5 pupils in the classroom has enabled Jo to specialise in delivering learning experiences linked to the ‘real world’.

An advocate of apprenticeships as an alternative to the traditional university route, Jo states her greatest job satisfaction has come from helping pupils into apprenticeship roles and seeing them thrive. 

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