How to Support Your Child if They Failed Matric

Matric Results are near, but unfortunately not every student will receive good news. If you’re a parent, find out how to support your child if they failed matric right here. This moment does not need to define their success!

Matric results are coming up, and unfortunately, not all students will receive good news. As a parent, how you react to your child failing could impact how they move forward with their education. Here’s some tips on  how to support your child if they failed Matric. 

5 Tips to Support Your Child if They Failed Matric

Many South African families look forward to the big celebrations that follow when their children pass matric. But, oftentimes we don’t know how to navigate failure correctly. 

The tips listed below will ensure that you are a place of comfort for your child during this difficult time:   

  1. Process the Feelings of Disappointment  
  2. Respect Your Child’s Privacy 
  3. Don’t Finger Point and Blame 
  4. Start Planning 
  5. Apply Follow up Conversations 

Process The Feelings of Disappointment

If your child receives bad news, don’t rush them to feel better. Their feelings and yours are valid. Ask your child about their emotions and talk through these. At this stage you might want to give advice, but why not just be a listening ear for a bit?  

Respect Your Child’s Privacy 

If your child has not told anyone about their failure yet, it is not your place to do so. It is important during this time that they feel they can trust you. They will share the news to friends and family when they are ready. 

Don’t Finger Point and Blame

Your first thought might be to voice your frustration about their lack of focus and dedication. If you do this, your child will feel alienated. When their emotions have calmed down, you can talk through challenges and find ways to solve them.  

Start Planning

What’s the next step? As the parent you will have to display some leadership in this moment. Research all possibilities, their pros and cons. Some of your options might include a gap year, doing volunteer work or applying for an entry level job.   

Apply Follow up Conversations 

Once you have a plan of action, implement follow up conversations. Remind your child that moment this does not need to define the success of their  future. Other options are available to improve their education. 

A mother and her son walking together. Find out how to support your child if they failed matric right here!

What are Your Options? 

One vital strategy in supporting your child if they failed Matric, is to be clued up on what other opportunities are available to them. 

The job market is tough, so you want to ensure that your child gets qualified beyond high school. Some of your options are listed below: 

  • Remarking or Rechecking your Matric papers
  • Supplementary Exams 
  • Re-do Matric 
  • Study Courses That Don’t Require Matric 

Remarking or Rechecking

 If you suspect your child could have gotten higher marks or there was an issue with the marking, you can apply to have their scripts remarked or rechecked. 

For each of these there is a fee and application deadline. For more on this have a look on the Department of Education website. 

Supplementary Exams

Students who failed no more than two subjects can apply for supplementary exams. They can also apply if: 

  • They were medically unfit and are able to provide a doctor’s certificate
  • If they missed the entry requirements for university admission 
  • If they attended the funeral of a family member and can provide an affidavit

Supplementary exams also have a set deadline and usually take place between February and March.   

Re-do Matric

Another option is to apply to re-do their entire Matric year at their high school. Before considering this, first work through what exactly went wrong the first time to ensure those same mistakes don’t happen again. 

For students who are 21 and older, Adult Matric may be a better option. We offer this programme via distance learning. It will give your child the chance to learn independently and at their own pace. Don’t worry though. We offer free student support to all our learners. 

Study Courses That Don’t Require Matric

You might think you can’t study without matric, but this is simply not true. We offer a variety of courses students can enrol for without having their grade 12 certificate. Some of these include: 

To get an idea of our full range of courses, have a look at our courses here. There are many ways to improve your qualifications without matric! 

Behind Every SUCCESSFUL Student is a Parent who Believed!

If you need more information on how to assist your child in making the best decision for their future, why not give us a call? Our friendly consultants are here to help! Contact us on:   

  • Call us for free on 0800 39 00 27
  • Or  fill out this contact form for a call back
Last Updated: June 13, 2022


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Andrea Petersen
Andrea Petersen
I am dedicated to creating engaging online content. I enjoy reading, writing and popular culture. House Ravenclaw. View my LinkedIn