Are you ready for GCSE Results Day 2021?

It’s that time of year that parents dread. After months of preparation, variable amounts of revision, and lots of stress for the whole family, it’s GCSE time!

Except it isn’t.

With the Covid-19 pandemic having disrupted another year of schooling, GCSE exams in the UK are cancelled for the second year running. This year they are again being replaced by teacher assessed grades. But what does this actually mean? What can you expect from GCSE Results Day itself? And what happens after Results Day?

Let’s take a look.


Teacher Assessed Grades

Your son or daughter’s GCSe grades will be decided by their teachers, based on evidence such as mock exams, any coursework required by the GCSE, and their overall performance in class. 

Schools will submit teacher assessed grades to exam boards by mid June for quality assurance checks and grade confirmations to be completed.

Your son or daughter should already have been given predicted grades by their teachers earlier in the course, which gives an indication of the final grades they are likely to achieve. So, unless there has been a major change in their achievement or effort, the results should not come as a complete surprise.

The most important results for your son or daughter are English and Maths. They need to achieve at least a grade 4 or 5 in these subjects, which equates to an old grade C. This is a requirement if they plan to go to college to do A levels, and may also be asked for by an employer.

It is also important for your son or daughter to achieve good grades in the subjects they want to study at A level. Their chosen sixth form college may set a minimum requirement for GCSE grades for some courses.

So GCSE Results Day 2021 is still a very important day for your son or daughter, even without the exams having taken place.


GCSE Results Day

GCSE Results Day this year is on Thursday 12th August.

Your son or daughter will be given an envelope by the school, containing one or more printed sheets showing the grade they have achieved for each subject. GCSE results are graded from 9 to 1, broadly corresponding to the old grades of A* to G.


Collecting results from school

Every school will be making their own arrangements, and these of course will be subject to any Covid-19 restrictions at the time.

If your school is going to be open for your son or daughter to collect their results, it is important for them to know the right time to be there, as the school will probably only be open for a short period of time. 

Check whether the school will allow you to go with them, and also whether your son or daughter wants you to. They may prefer to go on their own, or in a group of friends. Of course you will be eager to know the results, but this is their big day, so try to find a compromise that works for both of you.

They may need to take some kind of ID with them, just as a formality, so double check the instructions to make sure there are no last minute hitches.


Collecting results remotely

If the school is not open, or for some reason your son or daughter cannot attend, the school will arrange for results to be given to them another way. The most usual thing is to post the results, but the school may also agree either to email you details of the results and/or for another person to collect the envelope, if they have proof of your authorisation to do so.


What happens next?

Post-GCSE choices

Hopefully your son or daughter will have achieved the grades they need to do what they want to do next. For many, this will mean heading off to a sixth form college to do either A-levels or Btecs. Others may be planning to combine work and education, perhaps by doing an apprenticeship.

But if your son or daughter is planning to do A-levels and has not achieved the grades they needed for the college or course of their choice, the best thing to do is to speak to the college as soon as possible. They may still accept them on the course, or be able to offer an alternative.

There should also be the opportunity for your son or daughter to switch colleges or A-level subjects if they have been rethinking their choices, have the grades they need, and there are still places on the courses that they now want.


Appeals and resits

If your son or daughter is unhappy with one or more of their grades, they can appeal – particularly if the result is unexpected. The first thing to do is to speak to the school, who will advise on the appeals process.

Your son or daughter should also be able to do a resit in the subject this autumn. The plan is that these will be actual examinations, not teacher assessed grades. So if they need to improve their Maths or English grade, or want to try for a better grade in another subject, there should be the opportunity to do so. They should speak to their school if they want to do this.


Good luck with GCSE Results Day 2021! We hope that your son or daughter achieves the grades that they need for the next phase of their lives.

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