Childline offers support to children and young people amid exams stress

NSPCC Scotland is offering support to pupils across the nation worried about today's (Tuesday, August 8) exam results.

Counsellors at the leading children’s charity’s Childline service are poised to help Scottish school pupils who will today receive their grades from the National and Higher exams which they sat in June.

Last year (2016-17) saw a rise in counselling sessions carried out by confidential support service Childline with young people worried about exams.

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More than 3,100 counselling sessions were held with UK children relating to exam stress and impending results in 2016/17, including 150 from Scotland. The Scotland figures were a rise from the 106 sessions held the previous year, with young girls more than five times more likely than Scottish boys to reach out for help.

NSPCC Scotland’s policy and public affairs manager Joanna Barrett has encouraged any pupil worried about what the future may hold after today’s results to get in touch for free, confidential support and advice.

“Children and young people can feel incredible pressure during the exam period and this can turn to extreme anxiety around results time, especially if their marks don’t match up to their expectations or hopes,” she said.

“We’ve heard from pupils who’ve had panic attacks and severe stress and fear over their exams and potentially not getting the right grades. This can lead to depression, excessive crying, low self-esteem or even suicidal thoughts.

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“Our message today is that Childline is here to discuss these issues and we would encourage every pupil who has not received the grades they wanted to remain calm and positive, and realise that today’s results are not the end of the world.”

Specially-trained counsellors at Scotland’s two Childline bases in Glasgow and Aberdeen handled a total of 597 counselling sessions on exam stress in 2016/17 from worried children across the UK as the number of sessions they delivered increased from 524 the previous year.

Elaine Chalmers, service head at Childline in Scotland said: “Children can often think these exams represent their last chance to make something of their lives but this is not the case.

Teachers, parents, carers and of course Childline are here to offer advice and support to young people as well as help them look at all options for the future.”

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As well as calling Childline’s free confidential helpline on 0800 11 11, young people can also send emails to trained counsellors or receive support online via one-to-one chat by visiting or by downloading our For Me app.

A series of videos dedicated to helping young people through exams are also available on Childline’s YouTube channel.

Children and young people can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice, 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or at

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