Supporting students on results day

Supporting your students on results day

It's a big day for you and your students. With successes to celebrate and support needed in some cases, there's bound to be mixed emotions. So, what can you do to help them on the day?

Helping your students prepare  

We’re sure you’ve been gearing up for results day for sometime. Your students will be up to speed with the events of the day and know who they can turn to for support if they need it. But as it gets closer to the big event, they might need a gentle reminder to start preparing for different outcomes.  

One idea is to send out a checklist they can follow and that will help them mentally and practically engage with what's coming up. Essentials they'll need to hand are: 

  • their UCAS personal ID number  
  • UCAS Hub log in details 
  • their personal statement 
  • details of other qualifications e.g GCSE’s   
  • phone numbers and web pages of alternative universities if they want to use Clearing 

You could also provide a mini guide to help them plan for different scenarios on the day. Think about any useful websites or contact numbers that might help them with their decision-making. 

Helping parents and supporters prepare   

Understandably, parents and supporters will be just as nervous as their young person in the run up to results day, and they’ll want to know what support is on hand. So, as part of your pre-results day communications, they might find it handy to receive a toolkit that includes:  

  • contact details for key staff e.g career advisers, tutors, head of sixth form  
  • timings for when students can collect their results and speak to staff  
  • top tips to help their young person prepare 
  • details about Clearing - our parent and supporter web pages have all the info they'll need! 

Or, if you’d like to provide a more detailed ‘all there is to know’ run-through of the results day process at your school or college, an informal Q&A is great for allaying any concerns. Held either online or in person, the Q&A will reassure them but also reaffirm your order of the day. 

Give yourself time to prepare!  

As you’ll receive your students results the day before, it’s likely that most of your prep will involve identifying which students are likely to come to you needing a plan B. Using their results and intended destinations, you’ll be able to prepare contingency plans for any vulnerable students who haven’t met their required grades. 

Depending on your role, you may also need to brief key staff to ensure they know about any disappointed or anxious students and the what plans are in place to help them.  

Clearing support 

Which brings us to Clearing! Results day can be an unsettling time for your students, especially if they didn’t get what they’d hoped for, but Clearing is a great opportunity for them to explore what else is out there.

To alleviate some of their stress, start by using your knowledge and experience to address any misconceptions or prejudices about Clearing.

Stats are always useful in these cases, so it might help students to know that 33,280 students used Clearing last year to secure a place at university, and not just because they didn’t meet the conditions of their offer. Clearing is also used by students who haven’t already applied through UCAS, or have simply changed their mind about what or where they want to study! Our Clearing guide makes the process really straightforward and has plenty of helpful tips and advice too. 

Bear in mind that if a student wants to use Clearing, you won’t be able to speak to universities on their behalf, but you can guide and support them as they call around and explore alternative courses. And remind them – if they’ve met the conditions of their insurance offer but want to pursue something else for a year, they can contact the university to ask if they'll defer their place. 


It’s really important to keep students positive and motivated while their results sinks in. I usually have two university reps helping out to reassure our students and provide practical support.

Tim Shehu, Careers Leader, Coordinator and Adviser St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College

Be the voice of reason  

You know your students best, and everyone manages uncertainty differently, but your words of wisdom and experience can make the world of difference if they feel as though their long-term plans have been turned upside down. With emotions running high, many teachers find that part of their role is to be a calming presence on results day. And chocolate biscuits, they're key too.  

As you help your students with their next move, use your experience to reassure them that there are often alternative routes to achieving their goals and that their results do not define their academic ability or, more importantly, who they are. 

Good luck!