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6 Tips to Support Foster Children with GCSE Results

Wednesday 06 July 2022

Approaching GCSE results day can be an anxious time for many fostering families. After all of the hard work and struggle, it’s natural that you want your foster child to do well and be able to continue on whatever future path they have chosen for themselves.

Here are 6 helpful things to remember as GCSE results day approaches:

  1. Remember to celebrate how far the young person has come not just how well they’ve performed in exams. Maybe there are things they can do now that they weren’t able to do when they first came to live with you. These things are just as important as academic achievement. Tell your young person how proud you are of them and celebrate ALL of their successes.
  2. It’s not the end of the world if they don’t get the grades they wanted and exams can be re-taken. Be there to listen and talk to your foster child if they want to talk to you. Their social worker can also offer advice and support. Take time to process the results and advise them not to rush into any decisions. Look at all the options for the results they have and their chosen future direction. If necessary, ask for advice.
  3. Remember, the GCSE grading system has changed in England. In 2017, the government replaced the old A*-G grading system with a new system of grading by number. A grade of 9 is the highest and 1 is the lowest. The table below explains how the new system equates to the old one.
New grading system Old grading system
9-7 A*-A
6-5 B
4-3 C-D
2-1 E-G


  1. The standard GCSE pass rate is 4, which is equivalent to a C grade.
  2. Consider making a results day plan. Have a contingency plan for whether your foster child gets the grades they want or whether they don’t. Ask them what they need from you on that day.
  3. As results day approaches, if your foster child is becoming anxious offer advice on mindfulness exercises or activities to help them stay calm. Getting out in nature or spending time with animals can be helpful, or burning up excess energy with sport or exercise.

As a foster carer with National Fostering Group you have access to a network of support, training and advice throughout the year. For more information about fostering with us, click here.

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