• Parental support is eight times more important in determining a child’s academic success than social class. The Campaign for Learning found that parental involvement in a child’s education can mean the difference between an A* and an ‘also-ran’ at GCSE.
  • The good news is that you don’t need to be an expert in any of the subjects your child chooses to make a real difference. You also don’t need to give up your life and other responsibilities – you just need to know how best to spend the time you do have.
  • One of the hardest demands on students is that of understanding the long-term importance of doing the best they can, and learning to shelve short-term fun at times in the interest of long-term benefits (not easy even for adults).
  • Children will also differ in their levels of maturity, their ability to take responsibility for their learning, organisational skills and levels of motivation.
  • This is where parents come in. Your support, encouragement and interest can make a spectacular difference to your child’s motivation and ability to cope with the academic and organisational demands of the exam period.



  • Don’t stop going to, or working in, lessons you find hard or dislike – talk to someone about any difficulties you are having – there is always a solution
  • Revise your revision schedule if necessary and stick to it – even when you don’t feel like it. Don’t wait until you are in the mood – the further behind you get the less you will be in the mood (agree the schedule with your parents for a hassle-free life)
  • Resist the temptation to bury your head in the sand if things are getting out of hand – talk to your parents/tutor/teachers/Head of House
  • Ignore what friends and others are doing or saying – you are working for an easy life for YOU now and later – let your friends have the hassle of redoing coursework or even the full GCSE


  • Agree the balance between work and social life and stick to the agreement. Again, flexibility is the key – if a special night comes up, agree that they can make up the work at a specified time
  • All students fall behind, feel demotivated or overwhelmed, or struggle with the balance of social, work and school demands at times. When your child feels like this, berating and threatening them will have a negative effect. Talk to them about the issues, acknowledge their feelings and adopt a sensible attitude in wanting to find a solution
  • Be flexible – use the 80/20 rule. If your child is sticking to what they are supposed to be doing 80% of the time, they will be doing alright
  • If your child asks for your support, encourage them by helping them to see the difficulties in perspective. Teenagers often take an all or nothing ‘catastrophic’ approach to difficulties – “I’ve messed up this essay, I might as well give up.”


More information about the sites listed is given in the relevant chapters. Information correct at time of going to press.

General support for teenagers

General parent support   confidential helpline for parents on 0808 800 2222

Exam boards  the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) Edexcel  Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR)  the Welsh Joint Education Committee (WJEC)


Careers  – Careers films/videos – real people in real jobs  – Career advice, HE choices  – Regional training prospectus – everything you need to know about college, apprenticeships, careers, training schemes and jobs in local area  – National Apprenticeship Service  – STEM careers  – Careers info – construction, accountancy, banking, law, engineering, environment, media . . . etc

Local Authority Schools  – Local Authority Schools Website  – Government Education and Learning Information


Blacon High School is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites.