Thousands of pupils prepare for exam results

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Tens of thousands of pupils will find out their grades as the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) publishes exam results.

Royal Mail will deliver around 136,500 certificates to pupils across Scotland who have taken SQA exams, including Highers and Nationals.

All candidates will receive their results by post while those with active MySQA accounts will also receive their grades by text message and/or email from 8am on August 8.

A free national helpline offering advice, information and support for young people and their parents went live on Monday.

The free Skills Development Scotland (SDS) helpline will be open from 8am until 8pm on August 8 and 9 and from 9am until 5pm from August 10 to 16. 

Education Secretary John Swinney said: "Receiving your results can be exciting, scary and worrying all at the same time, and I think it's important that we recognise this and make sure our young people have the right support available to them, to make the best decisions about their future.

"Moving on from school is an important and exciting step for young people. It's vital that they know what their real options are and how to access them.

"This free helpline is an excellent service which is staffed by fully qualified and experienced careers advisers who will be able to help young people and their parents answer any questions about the choices going forward.

"If you get the results you are looking for, then that is fantastic. If you do better than expected or don't get the grades you need this time round, then be certain that there are a huge number of options for you to consider and that there are a number of people available to support you."

The number to call for the helpline is 0808 100 8000.

Skills Development Scotland acting director of operations James Russell said: "Our message for those young people and their parents and carers as the results arrive is not to panic. Everything might seem overwhelming at that point.

"Our experienced advisers are there to help and have information on all the options and opportunities young people can consider."

A Colleges Scotland spokesman said: "Students and young people receiving their exam results today should be proud of their efforts.

"Some may not have received the results they were hoping for, and it's important to know there are a myriad of opportunities available should they look to a college route to develop their skills and progress towards employment or higher education."

Royal Mail said that special planning teams have been working for months to ensure that the process of delivering results goes smoothly on Tuesday.

Derek Keir, Royal Mail's head of special events planning said: "This is a massive day for every pupil in Scotland, waiting for their results.

"All of our postmen and women, many of whom have children themselves, understand just how important this day is for families. Our people pull out all the stops to ensure the results are delivered as quickly and efficiently as possible.

"Royal Mail is used to handling large mailings, having recently delivered all of the postal votes and poll cards for the general election this year. We have worked successfully with the SQA on exam result delivery for many years now and we are delighted to be playing our part in this special day once again."

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: "Good luck to the young people across Scotland today receiving their exam results. For many pupils and teachers, the hard work will have paid off.

"However, there will be some who have worked just as hard, but won't be as pleased with their results this morning. It's important to remember that a bad set of exam results isn't the end of the world, and there is support available to young people who haven't got what they wanted.

"I urge any young person worried about their results to reach out to the support networks in their personal lives or at school, or call the exam results helpline on 0808 100 8000."