Mothers most likely to be students’ first call

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MOTHERS are the first port of call for students sharing exam success or heartbreak, a survey of young people awaiting their results this summer has revealed.

Almost a third of the 1,003 students across the UK who took part in the survey, commissioned by Leeds Metropolitan University, plan to tell their mother first upon receiving their exam results, while only seven per cent plan to tell their father first.

The research has been published ahead of A-level results day on Thursday.

Mothers also scored highly when it came to giving the most valuable advice on which university to choose with students being twice as likely to ask them, rather than their fathers.

Dr Caroline Bligh, an expert in education studies at Leeds Met said: “With mothers tending to be the primary carer of their children from birth, it may be that children build closer and more trusting relationships with their mothers and I feel that they are more likely to accept the results whether they are good or bad Children could also be more concerned about their father’s reaction if they do not achieve the results anticipated. Research also suggests that mothers become stronger academic role models for their children, with the educational achievements of fathers making no significant impact on their children’s academic aspirations and achievements.”

The survey also showed that boys are more positive than girls about receiving their exam results with 84 per cent of male students confident that they will achieve better or the same as their predicted grades: 12 per cent more than their female counterparts. Students living in London were the most confident about their result while those living in the East Midlands had the lowest expectations.

The survey also shows more than a third of students have been given some sort of financial incentive to deliver exam success.

Around one-in-ten students had been offered a holiday and just over one-in-ten said they had been offered a car. On average the survey showed that male students are offered more money than female students to perform well. The average amount offered to male students was £184; £60 more than their female counterparts.

The amount offered by parents as incentives varied dramatically among the respondents, with some students being offered up to £2,000 for an A* and £1,500 for an A grade. The most frequently offered sum for both an A* and an A was £100, with £50 for a B grade.

The survey also asked students to describe how they would spend the night before receiving their results; with the majority of students predicting that they would stay up late, unable to sleep. Just under half of male students surveyed (47 per cent) said they would be staying up very late as compared to 38 per cent of female students.