EVERYONE has a favourite teacher but parents and carers are the most important influencers in a young person’s education.

Yet with curriculums and the ways of school life forever changing, it can be difficult for parents to know how to best support their children.

Looking over mock exam papers or checking over homework can be arduous.

As exams become more difficult and more stressful, pathways to different careers are also constantly evolving.

It means parents feel just as lost as their children when it comes to making crucial decisions about their future.

Make Happen is a platform providing information to help students decide their career path.

The team is hosting a free event for the parents and carers of people aged from 15 to 18 at Essex University.

At the event, they can learn more about how to support their children on the sometimes difficult journey through GCSEs and onwards.

The event hopes to build their understanding of how to apply to university and provide information about student finance.

Debbie Kay, from Colchester, was thrilled when her daughter started studying with the Department of Psychology at Essex University in September.

She said many of her daughter’s friends at school had not even considered higher education.

“They thought you needed to be really academic and that university was not for them,” she said.

“I reckon they would be surprised about how much she is enjoying her life and studies.”

Debbie said it was hard to be supportive without “taking over”.

She started helping with homework when her daughter was young.

“As neither my husband nor I had gone to university, we always hoped she would take up the opportunity,” she said.

“As she grew, she became more and more independent and when it came to studying after her GCSEs, she pretty much made up her own mind.”

Debbie said Colne Community College in Brightlingsea was supportive and helped with UCAS applications but she was left in the dark about how to help her daughter achieve the necessary grades, student finance and how to manage teenage emotions around making such a big decision.

She said: “I tried to be as supportive as possible but would have liked some ideas around keeping stress levels low and keeping the peace at home.

“I felt more involved when it came to going to open days. We went together and enjoyed finding out about living and studying at university.”

Make Happen understands support at home is vital and will help provide revision techniques, managing exam stress and building general resilience and confidence.

The free event will take place at the university’s Wivenhoe campus on November 23 from 9.30am until 4pm. This event is exclusive to parents and carers of students studying in Year 11, sixth form or college in Essex.

For information and booking visit www.makehappen.org/future-forward.