At the University of Suffolk we work with a team of Parent/Carer Ambassadors who have helped their young people go on to higher education. We asked them for their top tips for A Level results day. One of them, Rachel Turner, has written some tips for how Clearing is as an opportunity.
What is Clearing?
Clearing is a process managed through UCAS where students can search for other universities to attend if they don’t meet their grades, achieved higher or just changed their minds. Universities add courses which still have spaces available, and applicants are then matched up and can apply. Clearing usually opens from 5th July until October.
Most universities will have details of their available courses on their websites and students can contact them usually by phone and or live chat.
How to prepare young people for Clearing and Results Day
- Make sure that they research universities that they want to contact on the day in advance
- Find out how they’re running Clearing (whether on phone, live chat etc.)
- Also, take a look at foundation year or 4 year degree options in their course of interest too.
Distractions and relaxation!
Young people will inevitably feel anxious about their results because it’s a big step in their future life and career, however, as a parent/carer, it’s important to reassure them and try to distract from the ‘big day’. For me, it was better to reduce the pressure by explaining that there are always opportunities to take and that it’s important to be happy with choices made. If their ideal course isn’t available or they don’t get accepted, try again the following year or try through clearing.
• Wellbeing. Try stretching or meditating online (YouTube). It’s free and great for mental and physical wellbeing and, all the family can join in! We tried yoga and pilates online – it was Covid time!
• Distractions. Take your young person away on a short break or holiday to celebrate the end of the exams and to wind down. This could also include days out to the beach, park, shopping or time out with friends. My children love charity shopping!
• Research. An opportunity to research more on their next step choices such as checking out accommodation, setting up a student bank account, making a check list of things to take to uni, tidying their bedroom and donating unwanted items to charity.
• On the day. Give your young person space but be there for support. Try to take the day off work if you can, to take them to collect their results, and to celebrate success or support with clearing. Some young people want to be alone to reflect while others will want to go out with their friends.