Getting Results Day Ready

16th May 2024

Results days in schools and colleges are incredibly busy for both teaching and non-teaching staff. Alongside the distribution of examination results, staff will be expected to evaluate outcomes, offer support and guidance to students and handle queries and appeals. Preparing well in the Summer Term is key to ensuring results days run smoothly.

Here are some practical tips I have learned, to support you with your results day planning and preparation:

1. Uploading data into Alps on Results Day

Results analysis is a key part of any improvement cycle. To support schools and colleges with their analysis, at Alps we have produced a series of Staff Checklists which, for Alps users, can be accessed through our Alps Knowledge Base, or requested from our Customer Support Team. These are a great quick guide on what to consider at this time.

Some key questions that senior and middle leaders will be looking to answer include:

  • How do results compare with predictions from in-year monitoring and results from previous years?
  • What priorities have emerged in terms of subjects and student groups from the analysis of these results?
  • Were there any results/valued-added outcomes that came as a shock?
  • Were outcomes consistent across different teaching sets?
  • Is Performance Measures data in line with predictions? How does it compare to previous years?
  • How accurate were predicted grades during the year and is any training required?

Alps Connect is an incredibly powerful platform when analysing examination outcomes and can help senior and middle leaders answer all these questions. If you use Alps, to unleash the true power of Alps Connect, it is important that any data uploaded is accurate and includes key information.

We would recommend that during the summer term, as part of your results day preparation, you set aside time to check the accuracy of all student and teaching data uploaded to Connect.

Some questions to consider include:

  • Have all students been included in the student data uploaded?
  • Has all contextual data for your cohorts been included and is this information accurate, e.g. gender, ethnicity, disadvantaged/non-disadvantaged status, SEND/ALN information
  • If prior attainment data is available for students, has this been uploaded and is this data accurate?
  • Has teaching set/teacher information been uploaded accurately?
  • If provision is shared across different institutions, has ‘taught at’/’enrolled at’ information been included in the upload?
  • Have students’ personalised targets been uploaded?

In addition to checking that all student and teaching data has been uploaded accurately, the summer term also provides a good opportunity to upload additional data that can support your results analysis.

For example, if you use Alps and have not done so previously, you may want to consider uploading monitoring gradepoints from this academic year such as mock examination results, predicted grades and current working at grades.

This will enable you to compare these to the actual outcomes achieved in the summer. For any Alps customer, if you need any help uploading data, we have a great Knowledge Base with comprehensive support articles and videos, or you can contact our friendly Alps Customer Success Team.

2. Results Day planning and preparation

Examination outcomes often have significant implications for students’ futures and can impact their progression to further education, employment, and university courses. It is therefore, understandably, a stressful time for students, parents, and teachers. Using the summer term to plan effectively can ensure that everyone gets the support they need to navigate this potentially challenging period.

Below are my top tips when planning for results days:

Communicate information clearly

Ensure that students, parents and staff are well-informed about the timings, procedures, and expectations for results days. It is important that everyone understands clearly when and where results will be available, how they can be accessed, and the support on offer.

Be prepared

It is important to anticipate the needs of your students in advance of results days. Consider prepping resources and information ahead of the days which can be used to guide and support students. This may include contact information for careers services, local colleges, universities and UCAS as well as information about Clearing, apprenticeships and employment options.

During the summer term, it can also be useful to collate information on students’ intended destinations and the grades needed for these. By reviewing these against current grade predictions it is possible to identify students who are at risk of not achieving the results they need for their preferred post-16 and post-18 destinations and plan appropriate support.

Equip your team

Equip your team – It is important to ensure that staff understand their roles and responsibilities for results days clearly. Preparing your team in advance of the days through appropriate training can ensure that they are able to deal with inquiries from students confidently and provide the necessary academic and pastoral support.

For GCSE results day, it is important that staff are knowledgeable about the different options available including resits, sixth form courses, further education, vocational training, apprenticeships, and employment opportunities. Whilst for A-level results day, it is important staff feel confident advising students on UCAS procedures, Clearing options, vocational pathways, school leavers programmes and apprenticeships.

Encourage students to have back up plans

Not everyone will achieve the results they need for their chosen course or pathway. Therefore it is useful to encourage students to have a back-up plan. Support your learners by encouraging them to explore alternative options, including different courses and pathways.

Create a supportive environment

On results days, you are likely to experience a variety of reactions and emotions from students and it is important to manage situations with sensitively, providing students with appropriate support and guidance. Keep a look out for students who may be struggling emotionally and be prepared to intervene if necessary to offer additional support or to refer them to appropriate counselling services. It is important that staff are approachable and that students feel that they can come to them with any questions or concerns.

Remember to reassure students that there are always options and opportunities available to them, no matter what their results may be. It can also be important to check in with students in the days and weeks following results days to see how they are coping and offer ongoing support if necessary.

Reflection and self-evaluation

After results days, it is important for schools and colleges to reflect on what went well, and what could be improved. Consider gathering feedback from students and staff to inform future planning and to ensure that results days run even more smoothly in the future.

I hope you have found the tips in this blog useful and that they help you when preparing for upcoming results days.


End note from Alps

We currently work with over 1,200 schools and colleges and 95 Groups and MATS in the UK and internationally, offering our high-quality analysis at both KS4 and KS5.

If you do not use Alps are interested in how Alps could support you to improve your outcomes, do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly team. You can also call us on 01484 887600 and we will be delighted to speak to you, or you can book a demo at a time convenient for you with one of our knowledgeable team.

About the author John Roe, Educational Consultant for Alps

John has worked in education for 22 years as a science teacher, Head of Department and Pastoral Lead. John is passionate about creating an aspirational culture and supporting students to achieve their full potential. Prior to joining Alps, John was Director of Radyr Sixth Form in Cardiff for 10 years, where he lead the transformation of the sixth form with student outcomes consistently matching the performance of the top 2% nationally.


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