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Clearing and Adjustment checklist for teachers

Clearing and Adjustment can be a confusing time, for teachers too. Here, we make a checklist of things you should keep in mind before results day arrives.

man writing on laptop with a checklist

Preparing for results day

Results day is a significant milestone on a student’s journey to higher education. It’s the day they find out if their hard work has paid off, and whether or not they’ve achieved the grades needed to earn a place on their chosen course.

Teachers and advisers play a pivotal role in preparing their students for results day. Students looking to begin university in the autumn will either earn the grades needed for their firm or insurance choice, get better grades than expected and use Adjustment, enter Clearing by not getting the grades they need or changing their minds. 

In 2021 we have a unique situation in the UK where most results are published on the same day, Tuesday 10th August, with GCSE equivalents published two days later on 12 August. 

There’s a number of ways teachers can prepare their students.

Talk to your students about Clearing

Plan a talk or chat with your students before results day to explain the process of Clearing and Adjustment. Encourage them to explore how both work, share with them any valuable resources and suggest they research what Clearing courses are available. Remind them to not only look at courses similar to what they’ve applied for, but what else is being offered.

Encourage them to work out a timeline and ideas for Plan B and even Plan C. Even though most students in year 13 or year 2 of college have left, they can still be contacted online and/or invited back for a face-to-face session or online chat. 

Creating this awareness will mean your students are prepared for any results. Not all students will need to go through Clearing or Adjustment but they should know how it works in case they decide to use it.

Clearing courses can fill up quickly after results day, so being prepared will allow students who do enter Clearing or Adjustment to still find their ideal course.

Research yourself

You’ll need to know how Clearing and Adjustment work to teach your students about how to prepare. Research the ins and outs of both as though you’re preparing to apply. You’ll then be able to direct students towards any resources you found useful.

Find out too which universities are offering what courses in Clearing. Clearing opens on 5 July in most years, over a month before results day. This leaves plenty of time to see what courses are available using our Clearing course tool, which you can then share with your students.

Encourage them to make a shortlist of Clearing courses they’re interested in, note down the relevant Clearing phone numbers and even offer to do practice phone interviews with them.

Students will need the following information on hand when calling universities, so ensure they have this written down in advance:

  • UCAS ID
  • Clearing number
  • Grades
  • Personal statement
  • Any questions they’d like to ask

Prepare to support students on the day

Both students and parents will need support on results day. Many students will get results they expected, or better, but others will be disappointed. These students will be left wondering what to do next, whether they can still go to university and how to find a different course.

Prepare how to speak to these students and advise their parents as they’ll look to you for guidance. You can provide encouraging words but you should also know how Clearing works so you can point them in the direction of next steps. Coming up with solutions and options is the best way to help disappointed or upset students realise how many different routes they can take. 

Talk to individuals

Your students won’t all be in the same boat on results day. Some will be relieved, others will be confused about what to do next and a few may change their mind about what to study. They’ll turn to you for perspective so it’s important you show empathy for different students’ circumstances and know the various options they have.

Remind your students you’re available to talk. They may want advice in the lead-up to results day, on results day, or after, so offer them the chance to set up a 1-on-1 chat to discuss their options.

Stressful situations are better managed when support is accessible. Being available will help clear up any confusion your students have about Clearing, results day and Adjustment.

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