Education news

Childline helps rising number of young people with exam result fears

Teenagers told counsellors they felt worked up and on edge

A GROWING number of young people are turning to Childline with exam results worries.

In 2018/19, the charity's bases at Foyle and Belfast delivered 153 counselling sessions with children and teenagers apprehensive about their grades, up from 110 three years ago.

Concern peaks in August when young people receive results.

Reasons for seeking help included worries about whether pupils would get the grades needed to get into university and not wanting to let down their teachers and parents.

Teenagers also told counsellors they felt worked up and on edge, with some saying they were not able to sleep because of the stress of getting results.

One girl who contacted Childline said: "I'm really anxious about getting my exam results. I don't think I will get the marks I need to get into my chosen university. I think I've done so badly. Before the exam I had a panic attack and had difficulties breathing. I'm so afraid of not getting the right grades. I'm terrified that I've messed it all up and I'll ruin my future. I don't know how to cope."

Mairead Monds, head of Childline in Northern Ireland, said waiting for and receiving results could be a difficult time for young people.

"But they should never feel like they have to deal with these worries alone," she said.

"Reaching out to a parent, teacher or by contacting us at Childline will hopefully put things in perspective and make them feel more positive about receiving their exam results and what comes next."

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