Thousands of young people can access dedicated results support when the Skills Development Scotland’s (SDS) Results Helpline opens on Tuesday 4 August.
This offers advice, information and guidance for young people and their parents and carers from 8am on results day. The number to call is 0808 100 8000.
Around 138,000 candidates across the country will receive their National, Higher and Advanced Higher results.
Education Secretary John Swinney said: “Young people and their families have shown tremendous resilience in coping with the many challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and will naturally be anxious about the potential impact on results.
“You may achieve the results you worked so hard for, but if you miss out on the grades you were hoping for, there is still a huge variety of options available to you. Skills Development Scotland advisers will provide expert advice to help all pupils understand their future education and career choices.”
James Russell, SDS Director of Career Information, Advice & Guidance Operations, said: “This year is unlike any other and young people receiving results and their families may be feeling more anxious which is understandable. This is the point when their work and efforts are recognised, our advice and support is available and our message is if your results aren’t what you expected, don’t worry, you have lots of options.
“Our careers advisers are here to help you and your parents and carers with information on all the options and opportunities on offer.”
The Results Helpline will be open on August 4 and 5 from 8am to 8pm, August 6 and 7 from 9am-5pm and August 10 to 12 from 9am-5pm.
SDS’s expert careers advisers can discuss options and next steps such as course vacancies at UK colleges and universities, Confirmation and Clearing, Modern, Foundation and Graduate Apprenticeships and jobs or volunteering.
James added: “We’ll also have advisers available through social media to answer queries if you find it easier to get in touch via direct messaging.”
Joanna Murphy, Chair of the National Parent Forum of Scotland said: “I know from my own experiences as a parent that receiving results is a day of high emotions, both for young people and their parents.
“Results day can bring about a range of feelings whether that’s nerves, anticipation, excitement or worry, and for many of us the changes this year due to Covid-19 will have heightened these emotions.
“The SDS Results Helpline is a real lifeline. Whether you’ve received unexpected results, or want to discuss your choices, their advisers can talk through a wide range of options that are available.
“This opportunity for young people to have a calm conversation with someone impartial and knowledgeable helps take some of the heat out of the emotion of the day, and reminds young people and their parents that, no matter what results they have received, there is always a next step available.”
SDS’s Stornoway-based careers adviser Charlie Stewart said: “Young people receiving their results have had a very different experience this year. The Helpline and their school careers advisers are there to help them, and their parents and carers who make around a third of the calls to the Helpline, to find out about all of options and opportunities available to them.”
Charlie has volunteered for the Results Helpline many times because he gets to speak to young people and parents from all over Scotland and says it is good to help people. He works with pupils at The Nicolson Institute and is based in SDS’s Francis Street centre.
Results information and advice is also available on Scotland’s careers website, My World of Work at myworldofwork.co.uk which has practical help and links to UCAS, SAAS, Young Scot and the SQA.
For pupils going into 5th and 6th year this August, there’s still time to choose a Foundation Apprenticeship alongside Nationals and Highers. To find out what’s available in your area go to apprenticeships.scot or speak to your SDS careers adviser.
Completing a Foundation Apprenticeship leads to a qualification at the same level of learning as a Higher (SCQF6). Assessment happens throughout the year so there's no final exam.