GCSE results 2018: What to do once the envelope is open!

Jo Lane

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Today will see young people across the UK putting their phones down for a minute and opening an envelope – two things that don’t happen very often in their everyday lives!

The contents of this envelope will contain a set of numbers which will open the door to their future, but for some certain doors may be closed if the ‘levels’ don’t read a 4 or above. The good news is those doors aren’t locked shut, and there are steps to take and options to choose from to help unlock those doors.

One of the key issues faced on results days will be for those pupils who don’t achieve a level 4 in both English and Maths, the benchmark used for progressing onto Further Education and Level 3 courses (A Levels, BTECS).



So, what are the steps to take?


1. Recognise this is a set-back which they can bounce back from. It really isn’t the end of the world (although it might seem it) and there is no need to panic.

2. If a pupil fails to achieve a level 4 in both English and Maths, they can apply for a Level 2 vocational course at college. It is important to note they will have to continue studying Maths and English alongside the vocational course.

Level 2 courses last one year, and on successful completion pupils can progress onto a Level 3 qualification as long as they also achieve a level 4 in English and Maths during this year of study.

3. Pupils can resit their exams in November, however it is imperative they don’t leave it until October to start revising. Identify the areas of weakness that may have cost them vital marks in their June exam and work on these.

"Resilience is a vital life and employability skill so here is an opportunity to develop it." 


4. If a pupil doesn’t get a level 4 in either Maths or English, it might still be possible to progress onto their chosen A Level or vocational course, however this will be down to the discretion of the sixth form or college. Teachers at school and the admissions team at colleges will be expecting this and can advise pupils of their options.

5. Apply for an Intermediate or Advanced Apprenticeship. There is an amazing range of apprenticeships available to young people, which provide the opportunity to gain valuable employability skills, earn money and add more qualifications to their CV. Check out: www.getingofar.gov.uk for more information and details of current vacancies.

6. And finally, an important fact to remember:

Today’s 16 year old will probably work late into their 60s, which means 50+ years of employment!

If you put this into perspective, taking another year to achieve the qualifications required to open the doors to the future, really isn’t the end of the world.




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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