An advice and support helpline for young people and their parents has opened as thousands of school pupils and students await exam results.
Staffed by careers advisers, the Skills Development Scotland (SDS) service will be open until August 17 to provide information on course vacancies at colleges and universities, and advice about apprenticeships, employment or volunteering.
Education Secretary John Swinney met staff manning the helpline in Glasgow on Monday, with SQA results to be published on Tuesday morning.
SDS said the service is for use by people who do not get the results they hoped for or for students who may have done better than they anticipated.
Mr Swinney said exam results are a “beginning rather than an end point” and encouraged anyone in need of advice to use the free 0808 100 8000 helpline.
“Receiving results can be a daunting and nerve-wracking time, and I think it is important that we recognise this and make sure all of the students who will receive results tomorrow are supported with advice and guidance to make the best possible choices going forward,” Deputy First Minister Mr Swinney said.
“The careers advisers who I have met here today will handle calls and queries directly from students and their parents, they are fully qualified and experienced in providing the best possible advice about options going forward.
“If you get the results you are looking for, then that is obviously fantastic. However, if students do not get what they need this time round, then be assured that there are a huge number of things you can consider and there is support available to help you get where you want to be.
“Whatever the outcome, results tomorrow will be a beginning rather than an end point and if you are not sure or are looking for some advice then please do use this free helpline.”
SDS operations director Danny Logue said: “Some people might not get the results they hoped for or may have done better than they anticipated. It is vital that young people and their parents don’t panic.
“The helpline is there to give support and information about all the different options young people can consider.”
National Parent Forum of Scotland chair Joanna Murphy described the helpline as a “real lifeline” from personal experience.
She said: “One of my daughters didn’t do as well as expected in her fifth year and was devastated, but after talking to the careers advisers at the helpline she realised she had so many options available to her.”