Exams are over and the holidays are here.
Who could blame young people for wanting to put the whole school experience out of their minds… until results day, that is.
But before surrendering to the sheer bliss of no school or college for the next few weeks, it’s worth A Level students taking a moment to consider and congratulate themselves for the hard work they have put in over the academic year. That effort is an achievement in itself, and worth celebrating.
However, there is no denying that Thursday 18 August (when A Level results are announced) will be looming large for many young people and their parents. Hopefully, for many that day will bring good news – but it can also trigger difficult decisions for those whose results are not as expected, whether better or worse.
Suddenly realising that their future is not as straightforward as they had assumed is understandably a shock for many people, and can lead to hasty decisions which they might later regret. Results day and the period immediately following are when it is most important to keep calm and weigh up the options, but inevitably that is hard to do in the emotional maelstrom of celebrations and commiserations, despite (or because of) the range of advice and alternative routes on offer.
Although it might seem like ’tempting fate’, it is a good idea to consider in advance – at least in broad terms – what to do if things do not go according to plan. Which? University says:
Over 64,300 students found a university place through Clearing in 2015, according to UCAS. This is up 5% on the previous year. So it definitely shouldn’t be disregarded as merely an option for underachievers. More and more universities look to Clearing to match students to courses.
But there are other options, too. For those keen to get started on a career, a new one to investigate is a Degree Apprenticeship. This is a way to get an honours degree and full-time work experience at the same time, as well as earning a wage – and the cost is bourne by the employer (with government funding), so there is no need for a student loan. With a Uni@Work Degree Apprenticeship, the degree is awarded by Coventry University. Learners also gain a professional qualification from the CMI and the opportunity to become a CMI Chartered Manager, giving them a head start in their chosen profession.