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How to guide your teen through the A Level & GCSE fiasco

Its been a busy week speaking to parents about the school A Level results day!

I'd like to first start by saying congratulations to those who have achieved the grades they worked hard to acquire. Well done! I hope the future is looking brighter after months of uncertainty throughout this pandemic.

For those parents whose children have not got the grades they rightfully deserve I have two points to make here.

1. It is unfair. This world is unfair.

That is a fact. Different people are adversely affected in different ways due to the disparities that exist in our systems. All of the 'isms' are there because of it. You can either accept or push back where you can.

The appeals process is in full swing now and as you may have heard the government is being taken to court over this. Scotland walked back their grades due to the inequality that clearly existed and hopefully this English parliament will do the same.

If you or/and your children are able to join groups of action takers then I'm sure you will be a welcomed voice. You will get sound advice and you will be demonstrating to your children how to push back against injustices. These are incredibly valuable lessons that will be useful in life - in every area. It's all about transferable skills and this is a useful one - speaking up and out for themselves and learning to speak up and out for others.

2. My second point is to be mindful of how much weight you place on the results.

Yes - our children should be treated fairly - without a doubt - and yes - the grades that they've worked hard to achieve should be awarded - however - the message also needs to be that life is not over if this doesn't work out.

Give them time to feel the upset this must be acknowledged and felt. It's important that our children experience feelings and it's important that we are there to help guide them through them.

Of course we want the easiest paths for our children - especially when they have earned it - especially when those pathways have been unfairly blocked but we also need to be mindful of their long term mental health. It's our role to see them through. This is not the end.

There will be ways and different routes forward towards that same end goal.

The road might seem tougher and it might be tougher - but they will still learn so many lessons along the way, they will still meet beautiful people, they will still have fun times and they will still make beautiful memories.

Once the dust has settled - once the sting of disappointment eases - life must go on and we must help them maintain the mindset of opportunity, wonderment and aspiration.

This world needs them more than ever to hold onto that!

Same message applies for GCSE results day (aka Part 2)

Anika - x

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