A-Level Results Day 2020

Connecting A-Level Students with their Futures

Huge congratulations are in order for the A-Level students who have picked up their results today. As the first cohort to have ever had their exams cancelled, it’s been an A-Level results day like no other. 

Overall, 97% of students received their predicted grades or were within one grade of them. 9% of A-Levels were graded as an A*, and there have been more A* and A grades than ever before. In a results day first, students will be able to appeal their results if they feel they are particularly unfair. If the appeal is successful, students will receive the highest grade out of their predicted grade, their mock, or a written exam they can take in the Autumn. 

UCAS figures show that 358,860 students from across the UK have had university places confirmed. This is up 2.9% on last year.

Students, if you got what you needed for your next step, congratulations! We know some of you will be disappointed today, but just remember that no one could have predicted how this year panned out. There are ways that you can appeal grades or still do what you want to do, and your resilience and hard work will not go unnoticed. 

Careers Leaders, this post will explain how the Careers Calendar can support student motivation and engagement, raise their aspirations and make connections between their A-Level studies and where they want to go next.

a level students
results day

Supporting A-Level Students in their decision-making 

For Careers Leaders, motivating and engaging A-Level students in careers education is an integral part of the job. They now have more options than ever, and careers engagement in school allows them to broaden their horizons and explore all of the pathways available to them. 

Attitudes towards university

This year has seen the highest number of university applications in 4 years. In 2019, over half of school leavers went on to university, and this figure is expected to continue rising. However, alongside this growth, there are some worrying statistics. Although students can access information about universities through their websites and open days, 20% of students regret their uni choice. As well as this, 18% feel they chose the wrong course and a third wish they had done different A-Levels. 

This suggests that there is a disconnect between the information students receive, and the experience they go on to have. 


of students regret their choice of university

How the Careers Calendar connects students to universities  

We can’t predict the future or control the uni experience someone has. We can help give students a structured careers education and access to the information they need to make informed decisions, helping to reduce the number of students that are unhappy with the choice they made.

The Careers Calendar helps connect students and universities early on in their decision-making process. Young people today are considering their future careers earlier than ever, and our platform promotes engagement and communication right from the start.

Our platform allows universities to have their own profile, where they can upload their prospectus and list their courses. Students can engage with the university through our direct messaging tool and can ask specific questions. The university can also upload details of any open days they have, as well as other engagement events. 

Careers Leaders can also create events and invite universities to attend, both online and offline events. These can be institutions in the local area or those from across the UK or even the world. Gatsby Benchmark 7 is all about giving students access to information about Further and Higher Education, and the platform allows you to do that. It also makes it easy to report on Gatsby Benchmarks, so you can prove that your students have access to the right information.

Attitudes towards employment 

University is not the only option, and letting students explore other avenues is vital for a balanced careers programme. Many students feel that they are pushed into going to university by teachers and parents, and almost half would feel like a failure if they didn’t go to uni. 

A staggering 46% of teachers wouldn’t feel comfortable giving advice about apprenticeships or going straight into work. Perhaps because of this, two-thirds of students don’t feel like their schools give enough attention to alternative routes post-sixth-form. 

There was a drop of over 72,000 in apprenticeship participation rates between 2017 and 2018 – that was before COVID 19! Participation will continue to fall if students do not have access to information about apprenticeships or conversations about alternative options. 

a level results

How the Careers Calendar fits in

The Careers Calendar can help students engage with apprenticeship providers and employers, starting conversations about alternatives to university. Employers can have a profile on the platform, where they list their location, what they do and opportunities that they have. Students can ask questions using the direct messaging tool, and employers can create and list events for them to attend. As with universities, Careers Leaders can easily invite employers to events, and employers can also explore activities that they may want to attend.

The ability to send surveys to students before and after events helps you understand exactly what they want to see. This allows you to see whether there are students who are particularly interested in apprenticeships or employment in your cohort. You can then put these students in touch with local employers so that they can explore their options further.

The Careers Calendars helps Careers Leader with careers engagement, connecting students to their futures. 

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