GCSEs are a stressful process for thousands of students across the UK every year. This is not made any easier by the long waiting period before receiving the results. This is why most pupils will arrive at school on the day to collect their GCSE grades in person. Doing this is the quickest and easiest way to find out what you got. However, results day will always fall in the summer holidays, a time when numerous teenagers across the UK are on holiday. This means they can’t be there on the day to collect their results.
If you fall into this category, it is essential for you to find out how the grades are passed on to you if you don’t turn up on the day. You also need to know how you can inform the school beforehand to make the process of collection as easy as possible.
Simply, if you do not collect your GCSE results on the day, the envelope containing the grades will be posted to your home. Alternatively, the school may decide to hand you the results in person on return for September term, provided that you stay at the same academy for sixth form. If arrangements have been pre-made, you may be able to access the results sooner. It is important to understand all your options before results day comes around to reduce the stress as much as possible.
In this article, you will discover how to make specific arrangements. Why collecting grades promptly makes the sixth-form application process more efficient and the specific system in place for 2021’s result collection during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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What Happens If You Don’t Collect Your GCSE Results?
If you do not turn up on results day to collect your GCSE grades, the envelope will be sent through the post to you at home, which can take a manner of weeks.
However, some institutions feel that posting the results breaks the agreement of confidentiality. This is because a parent or other relative may find the letter and open it before you’ve had the chance to come to terms with the grades on your own.
In this situation, the letter will either be handed to you on the first day of Year 12. Or if you have chosen to leave your own school, it will be sent to the academy which you plan to join. Your new institution will hand you the results instead.
Of course, if you feel uncomfortable having the results sent home, for whatever reason (which could be anything from being uneasy opening the letter in front of your parents to finding the Royal Mail untrustworthy!), then you always have the right to ask for them to be handed back at school.
There is absolutely no pressure for you to tell your parent or guardian what you got straight away. You should take some time to prepare yourself and come to terms with the results before revealing them to anybody else.
How Can Arrangements Be Made to Collect the Results Before September?
For many students, results day is a difficult situation because, more often than not, the reason a pupil decides not to go in on the day is because they are physically unable to. Whatever, the reason for this may be, there are several options for you to collect the results quickly, if you have contacted your school beforehand.
The first of these is possibly the simpler of the two. You may request for the school to send an electronic version of the results breakdown via email. Whilst this doesn’t have the same satisfaction as opening the results envelope in person, it does mean that you can find out the grades awarded without going in on results day. Your hard copy will get sent later on so you will have to wait for this.
Your other option is to ask another person (preferably a close relative) to pick up the results for you if it has been pre-approved by the school. You must make sure you ask permission because you will then be sent a consent form which you must sign for the person to be allowed to pick up the results. If the collection is not organised with the school in advance, the relative will not be permitted to take your results.
Please note that it is ultimately the choice of the school whether they will allow you to use one of these alternatives to collecting grades in person. Therefore, they may not authorise either of these methods, and that is within their rights.
What Valid Reasons are There Not to Collect GCSE Results?
Due to the lack of a definite date for results day each year, a small portion of students always find that they are unable to attend results day. Most of the time, these are genuine excuses, but if you don’t fall into one of the categories below, chances are you should be there. Don’t worry if you do have a valid reason though, as you can always request the results in one of the different formats mentioned above.
Away on holiday abroad. The most common reason that GCSE students miss results day is because they are physically unable to get into school as they’re abroad. Whilst this is a valid reason not to arrive on results day, it can be avoided in advance if you agree a two-week period with your parents where you have to be at home; then they can book any trips around this.
A sudden family emergency. And this means a real emergency. There are a multitude of different crises which could fall into this category, but it is important to remember that your results may not be the biggest priority in a situation like this; you can always collect them later.
Illness or physical injury. The only other real excuse you have not to turn up is becoming seriously ill on the day. And no, the common cold doesn’t qualify.
What is the Importance of Collecting Your Results As Soon As Possible?
Part of the reason why GCSE students feel so much pressure to do well is because these grades important to shaping your next steps. Therefore, you want to collect those results as soon after Results Day as you possibly can. Not only so you can know how well you did for your own satisfaction, but also to see where you can go next.
There will always be somebody waiting to hear your results so that they can decide whether to accept you onto a course. If you’ve applied for a B-Tech course at college or a post-16 apprenticeship, they’ll need to know what your grades are, especially in the subjects most relevant to your chosen field of study.
Most of the time, these institutions will be sent your grades after a period anyway, but even then, it is vital for you to know the results so that you can confirm any places offered to you.
Knowing the results is also crucial to help you decide whether to take resits or get papers remarked. If your grades in English and Maths GCSE are below a pass, it will be required for you to re-sit the exam, so you need to start preparing for the exams promptly. As well as this, applications for papers being remarked have a deadline which you can only meet if you know the grades.
Additionally, you may find that one of the subjects you’ve chosen for A-Level had a poor exam, in which case, you might want to consider whether taking that subject to a higher level is right for you.
Read this article to found out more about the importance of knowing your GCSE grades and how they can affect the future.
How Should You Prepare Yourself for Results Day?
Results day is stressful for students across the country, but you can make the process easier on yourself with preparation and a schedule. The results come out at 6am countrywide, however, most schools won’t be open until later in the day, so your first job is to find out what time you’re allowed in from. Knowing this information allows you to plan the day, wake up on schedule and take a slow, casual morning.
You may also wish to find out what time your friends are arriving (if they go to the same school as you) or agree a time when you will all be there. After all, opening results with your friends is a lot more fun and gives you someone to celebrate with. Remember that you have no obligation to open the results with friends if you feel uncomfortable doing so.
After that, the only other thing you may want to do before leaving on the morning is make a note of the grades required in each subject for you to move into the next phase of your education. This isn’t necessary, but it can help just to put your mind at ease.
What is the Plan for GCSE Results Day 2021?
Due to the special circumstances that come with the COVID-19 pandemic, GCSE results day is going to look a little bit different in 2021. You can check out this article for a full breakdown of everything you could possibly need to know for results day this year, but below is a summary of the key information.
When is GCSE Results Day in 2021?
This year, the GCSE results day will fall on Thursday 12th August 2021. Contrary to most other years, this is just 2 days after the A-Level date, and a whole week before results are usually released. The hope is that this will allow enough time for students to appeal the grades they are unhappy with so that college places can be confirmed before the beginning of the Autumn term.
How Will GCSE Results be Distributed?
Depending on the COVID-19 situation in the summer, you may or may not be able to go into school to collect your results.
Some schools have promised to be open no matter what, and will simply observe social distancing rules. Whilst others have a back-up plan to give students access to the results on the day without having to go into school, such as through email or publishing them online with password protection. Whatever happens though, you will get your results in some form or another on the twelfth.
Can You Request for the Results to Come Through Electronically?
As always, there is the option to have the results posted or emailed to a secure account. Due to the circumstances in 2021, most schools understand the safety issues surrounding results day, so will probably be more open to sending your grades in this way.
However, your results day (or late collection of results) plays out, remember that GCSEs are not the be all and end all; there are other ways to become successful in life and you still have A-Levels to take as well. Good luck for your results!