GCSE results! Not sure what to do next?

19 August 2020

Written by: Lambeth Council

News and announcements

Results are in, but not what you hoped for? What next? First thing to remember is you still have plenty of options.  Try not to worry if things didn’t go the way you had planned. There’s plenty of time, so don’t rush any decisions.

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GCSE results! Not sure what to do next?

Check out these top tips:

  1. Keep learning
  • You can leave school when you’re 16, but you need to stay in education or training until you’re 18. This could be a full-time course in college, an apprenticeship or traineeship. You can do paid work or volunteer alongside part-time education or training.
  • If you didn’t get grade 4 or above in English or Maths, you’ll have to continue studying until you get to that level at GCSE or a level 2 functional skills qualification.
  1. Talk to someone
  • Have a chat with people you trust. Talk to your parents, teachers, and friends about how you feel and what you could do next.
  • Even if your grades aren’t what you wanted, the sixth form or college you wanted to go to might still offer you a place. Maybe they’ll let you do a different course or subject. They might suggest other colleges and sixth forms you could try.
  • A careers advisor can help you draw up an action plan. Lambeth’s friendly Back on Track team offers one-to-one advice and guidance, helping young people explore their career options. Email backontrack@lambeth.gov.uk or call 020 7926 3381
  • The National Careers Service is another great place to explore all your career options. They provide information, advice and guidance to help you decide on learning, training and work.
  1. Check your grades
  • Not happy with your grades? You can choose to take the exams this autumn. If you do that, your grade cannot go down. Your best grade will stand. Exams will start on Monday 2 November and finish on Monday 23 November, unless coronavirus causes more changes. Your school or college will help you apply.
  1. It’s not all about GCSEs and A’Levels
  • There are BTECs, NVQs and other vocational qualifications. Check out what’s on offer at Lambeth College or Southbank UTC for courses including health, science, construction, engineering, business and many other sectors. You can find a full list of London FE colleges at www.londoncolleges.com
  • New T level qualifications are starting in September 2020. They combine classroom theory, practical learning and a 3-month industry placement. They’ll provide you with the knowledge and experience you need to get into highly skilled employment, an apprenticeship or higher level study. La Retraite Sixth Form is the first place you can do them. They offer courses in Digital and Education.
  1. Think apprenticeships or traineeships
  • Apprenticeships are proper jobs with training that can take you up to degree level. They could be in business, creative and media, construction, engineering, health and social care, transport and tourism or many more work areas. You can find local apprenticeships at Lambeth College and LDN Apprenticeships or search everywhere at the Find an apprenticeship
  • If you’re not ready for an apprenticeship, a traineeship is a course with work experience that gets you ready for an apprenticeship, or maybe to go straight into work. You’ll get a work placement and help with English and maths if you need it. You won’t be paid, but you might get expenses for travel and meals. Back on Track can help you, or you can search for them using the uk website.
  • One crucial thing about apprenticeships and traineeships is you don’t have to start them in September. They are available as an option all year round.
  1. Unlock your potential
  • Unlock is an alternative local option. Short courses designed for young people who want to try something different. There are four courses, each running for about 2 days a week and for less than six weeks:
    • Performance and Events Management for a Digital Age
    • Produce Your Own Music Video
    • Wowsers – Creating a ‘zine About Gender Equality
    • Drillosophy Learning Philosophy Through Drill Music
  1. Last thing – you’re not alone!
  • Many people change direction in life, especially when unusual things happen. It’s normal.
  • Take your time to think about all the options and explore opportunities you hadn’t thought of or known about. You may find that plan B turns out to be better than the original one.
  • If you are anxious or stressed and want some free, confidential support, visit www.kooth.com

Good luck with your next step. Remember, you’ve totally got this!