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13th August 2019

Childline helps rising number of young people in Wales with exam result worries

BY: Nathan Spackman

The number of children and young people in Wales who are turning to Childline with worries about exam results has risen for the fourth consecutive year.

The free and confidential counselling service, supported by the NSPCC, delivered 50 sessions to children from Wales on the topic of exam result worries in 2018/19.

However, the number could be higher as more than 200 children and young people did not state which UK nation they were calling from.

The number of contacts to Childline from children and young people in Wales has risen by more than 16 per cent on the previous year, and by more than 56 per since 2015/16.

Across the entire UK, Childline delivered 1,414 counselling sessions to those apprehensive about their grades – rising by more than a half over the past four years – in 2018/19.

Concern peaked in August, with a fifth of counselling sessions taking place during the month when young people receive their A-Level and GCSE results.

Reasons for young people seeking help from Childline include worries about whether they will get the grades they need to get into university and not wanting to let down their teachers and parents.

Children and young people 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.

Dame Esther Rantzen, the founder and president of Childline, said: “I am sure we all felt nervous at exam time, but the possibility of failure has taken on a greater importance than ever before, and is deeply worrying our children.

“Young people are turning to Childline when they become so anxious that they are overcome with panic or lose precious sleep. And this is reflected in the rising number of Childline’s counselling sessions.

“I would like to remind young people that whatever happens with their exam results there will be plenty of opportunities for them to go on and succeed in their lives.

“We all have different strengths and qualities that make us who we are.

“Childline is there for them if they don’t know who else they can talk to. If it matters to you then it matters to us.”

Des Mannion, the head of NSPCC Cymru/Wales, said: “We know that waiting for and receiving exam results can be a difficult time for young people, but they should never feel like they have to deal with these worries alone.

“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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