After all the talk and hype over the summer, GCSE results day is finally here!

To mark the occasion this year, we talk to teenologist Sarah Newton, who shares her advice and experiences to help pupils prepare for the day ahead.

1. GCSEs have one purpose 

...and that is to get you to the next step along the road you have decided to take.

If you don’t get what you need to it doesn’t mean that the road is no longer an option, just that you might need to take a different route - it’s merely a plot twist in your journey.

Don’t have the grades you need to do A-levels? I know that a Mitchells & Butlers apprenticeship could get you to the same position, had you done A-levels.

2. You are not your grades

And you are far more than what that piece of paper says you are. Many young people link their worthiness and self-esteem to their grades but this isn’t the case.

All it measured was how well you sat that exam – not what you are capable of.

This is also very dependable to whatever career you see yourself going into. Apprenticeships in the hospitality sector allow you earn whilst you learn, gaining valuable hand’s on experience that other FE courses wouldn’t offer. 

3. Give yourself some time

Often when things haven’t gone right we feel the need to rush and make a quick decision, and feel the pressure from those around us.

While you may be on a bit of a deadline, giving yourself some time to research and make the right decision for you is always the best option.

Ask for help and support if needed and remember, you don’t have to stay on in academic study, you don’t have to pass Maths and English with a C.

Mitchells & Butlers apprentices can even can gain Maths and English qualifications whilst doing an apprenticeship.

Make sure you know all of your options before committing to something.

My Results Day

I remember my own exam results day really well. I believed A-Levels were out of the question for me as academically I didn’t have the focus so, I was set on doing a BTEC course - but I needed a C in Maths and English, subjects I had struggled with. I ended up with 2 D’s and 7 C’s including Maths and English and I was so delighted.

My grades meant I could have stayed on and studied A-Levels if I wanted to but I was keen to explore the benefits of a Mitchells & Butlers apprentice course. This resulted in me ending up managing a Harvester restaurant by the time I was 22 – something graduates wouldn’t even be qualified to do.

Everybody had written me off at school but I showed them that determination is one of the most important qualities anyone can have.

Further information

For more tips and advice on GCSEs and results day, please see:

About Sarah Newton

Sarah is a Teenologist, who offers advice to young people about the options available to them throughout their teenage and young adult lives. She lives in Northampton and went into the Mitchells & Butlers Management graduate programme at Harvester aged 22. Since leaving the hopsitalioty sector to focus on her work with young people, she has made appearances on This Morning, The Wright Stuff, Lorraine, Channel 5, Loose Women and The Big Question.

Mitchells & Butlers

Mitchells & Butlers is the UK’s largest operator of managed restaurants and pubs.  Its portfolio of brands and formats includes Harvester, Toby Carvery, Vintage Inns, Crown Carveries, Sizzling Pubs, All Bar One, Browns, Miller & Carter, Castle, Nicholson's, O'Neill's and Ember Inns. 

Further details are available at and supporting photography can be downloaded at

Mitchells & Butlers serves around 130 million meals and 410 million drinks each year and is one of the largest operators within the UK’s £75 billion eating and drinking out market.

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