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University of East London to advise local pupils on results day in partnership with MyBigCareer

Team will offer guidance, information and a friendly face

A team from the University of East London (UEL) will provide guidance to pupils in five local schools on Thursday when A-level results are released.

The  group will offer advice to young people who are trying to make decisions about their options for university, particularly those who missed out on grades and will be navigating the Clearing process. 

UEL is offering the support in conjunction with the charity MyBigCareer and six other London universities. MyBigCareer organised the event with the idea of giving state pupils, especially those in east London, the kind of exam-day support typically found in private schools.

Gail May, UEL’s Head of Education and Community Partnerships, said, “We work throughout the year to help people access good quality information, but we recognise that results day is a big day to lots of people, some getting good news and some not as good as they had hoped.

“We are here to help. We’ve got a huge amount of experience. We work with students and perspective students all the time and whatever anxiety pupils are feeling, they can come and talk to us because we can help them work through that,” she said. 

UEL’s involvement in the project featured on the BBC website on Wednesday in an article written by BBC education correspondent Sean Coughlan.

MyBigCareer founder Deborah Streatfield told the BBC that pupils who have not got their expected grades can be “too distraught” to make phone calls and need help with making decisions. Those who do better than expected also need advice.

She said that independent schools often had well-resourced operations on results day to help pupils maximise their opportunities. Some state schools, unfortunately, do not.

Ms Streatfield said, "It can make a huge difference." 

The BBC said that figures published this month showed that the gap in university entry rates between private and state schools has grown wider. By the age of 19, 85 per cent of pupils who attended private school will have gone into higher education, compared with 62 per cent at state schools.

The UEL team will be comprised of around ten people, about half of them academics. The group includes Kamile Hudson, who is currently studying at UEL for a master’s degree in psychology. Kamile earned her bachelor’s degree from the University in 2014 after entering through the Clearing process. 

Kamile will work with pupils at Sir George Monoux School in Walthamstow. She said, “I’m doing this because I understand how nerve-racking it was to go through clearing. 

“I want to be a friendly face if they didn’t quite get the results they wanted, and let them know there are routes for everyone.”