Newcastle College is offering support and guidance to all students receiving their GCSE results this week, with a dedicated telephone Advice Line.
Whether students have studied at Newcastle College or not, the GCSE Advice Line is there to help and will operate between 10am and 4pm on Thursday 23 and Friday 24 August. Telephone number is 0191 200 4516.
Face to face advice will also be offered at the Sports Hall, Rye Hill Campus between 10am – 7pm on Thursday and 10am – 4pm on Friday.
The GCSE Advice Line is available to any student, their parents and guardians and has been extremely well received since its launch eight years ago.
Sharon Walker, Schools Liaison Co-ordinator at Newcastle College, manages the Advice Line and has given support and guidance to thousands of people over the past years.
She said: “The GCSE Advice Line was developed to give those who are unsure about the options available to them once they have received their results. Every year we get calls from parents, guardians and young people who are worried that they did not get their predicted grades or are just unsure about what they now want to do. It may be that they have achieved better results than they expected and are looking for something a bit more challenging.
“The key thing I say to everyone is not to panic. There are many options available, some of which you may not have considered yet. The important thing is to find out what the individual wants to achieve, their interests and aspirations and then identify the realistic options available to help them reach their goal.”
Sharon added: “We get lots of calls from students who are unsure if they want to go down the traditional academic route. This is such an important time in a young person’s life and it is vital that they choose the path that is right for them. Newcastle College offers a full range of vocational qualifications, including National Diplomas. Apprenticeships are also on offer, which allow you to combine employment and training in a range of vocational areas.
‘Apprenticeship frameworks are developed in partnership with employers and provide the skills that businesses really need. A Higher Apprenticeship is the equivalent to a Higher Education qualification and is great for those who are looking to progress in their career.
‘Through Newcastle Sixth Form College we also offer traditional A and AS level subjects and alternatives such as the International Baccalaureate, which combine A Level subjects with enrichment activities, such as voluntary work”.
Some students are worried about fees and Newcastle College can help. To assist students with the increase in Higher Education tuition fees, Newcastle College has kept its HE fees at £5,800, way below the £9,000 that many universities charge.
The college has also introduced the Newcastle College Maintenance Allowance (NCMA) scheme, which can provide eligible 16 -18 year olds with £1200 over two years to help towards the cost of books and travel.
Sharon continued, “Results day can be very stressful and it is important to have the opportunity to speak to someone who understands the concerns and issues that you may have. Not getting the grades that you expected may feel like the end of the world, but there are many options. We see many people every year in the same situation who still go on to achieve their ambitions. My advice would be that if you have any worries or concerns give us a ring. We are here to listen and to work through the options available, be that continuing your education, moving into employment or combining the two”.