Clearing: a guide for teachers
Results day can be an emotional time for students. Many young people will turn to their teachers for advice about what to do and, if they don’t achieve the grades they expected, or did better, what this means for them. Mohammed Jakhara, Head of Department for the Institute of Education at the University of Derby, offers his advice on Clearing to teachers.
Five top tips for teachers supporting their students through Clearing:
1. First of all it is important to help your students to stop and take a deep breath. Going to university is a significant moment in anyone’s life so it is important that they take time to think and make an informed decision.
2. Students will spend a lot of time at university. Help your students to understand that the university and course they choose will also impact on their life after university. It is essential that the decision they make is based, not only on their grades, but also on a university they will feel comfortable in and a course that they will enjoy. Ask your students to think about what they care about, what they are good at and what they are passionate about.
3. If a student is disappointed with their grades, reassure them that they do have options. In my experience most students who do not go to their first choice university are often pleasantly surprised by the options open to them. Many universities offer degree courses with foundation years as well as running HNDs and Foundation Degrees that help students to achieve their aspirations. Encourage your students to look at all options available – even ones they may not have considered before.
4. An important and positive step for students is to contact the Clearing hotline and they need to be prepared for the call. Reassure them that no one is going to judge them about the grades they were expecting. Instead, experienced university staff will talk to them about their options and will guide them through the process. If they forget to ask something or anything changes they can always call back. The university they choose will keep in touch with them, send them further information and invite them to appropriate events.
5. Some universities now offer Clearing Open Days, which provide a fantastic opportunity for any students going through Clearing to get a feel for the university they choose and to meet with some of the staff.