GCSE results day is fast approaching once again, but some schools will be doing things very differently this year.
Results day can be a nerve-wracking experience for many young people. Traditionally, they will queue up at school and face an anxious wait to find out how they've done in their exams before they can think about the next stage in their education.
But if your child attends St Leonards-Mayfield in East Sussex, a Catholic independent day and boarding school for girls, instead of opening a brown envelope, they will receive their results by email. This means that many students at the school will get the news via their phone or another mobile device.
Just two per cent of schools nationwide will use this technology to deliver students' GCSE exam results this year. But for those that do, there are many benefits for students and their families.
One of the key reasons why St Leonards-Mayfield has opted to deliver exam results in this way is to minimise the angst many young people experience on the day.
The often public nature of exam results day does not appeal to everyone and emailing can offer many advantages. Students can choose to digest the news alone, or at home with family. And those girls who enjoy the buzz of results day can still arrange to be with their school friends when the results come in. The process will be set up and managed at school so that all students will be able to see their exam results as soon as they are available - wherever they happen to be.
Importantly, members of the school's senior management team will be in school very early on the morning of results day to provide any pastoral support or advice students might need and staff from each subject will be available on site so students can come in to discuss their options face to face.
Tried and tested
To make sure everything runs smoothly on results day, St Leonards-Mayfield carried out extensive testing of the technology during a trial in January. The girls were asked to update the school with any changes to their email addresses prior to results day and because the IT automatically draws the latest student details from the school's computer system, there is no need for staff to key in email addresses manually.
So how do Mayfield's students feel about receiving their results by email? The response has been incredibly positive. They enjoy having the opportunity to decide when and where they open their message. The students who live overseas won't have to wait for the post to arrive and those girls who find it difficult to get into school on the day, because they are on holiday or busy with a summer job, don't have to.
Parents are equally enthusiastic about the new approach. They have already noticed that their children are less anxious about finding out how they've done and more in control of their own results.
And for teachers at the school, delivering results to their students so quickly means that delays in making decisions are minimised. Requests for papers to be re-marked can be made by return email and plans for re-takes and course selections can be organised swiftly.
I'd be interested to find out how you would feel about your child receiving their GCSE results via their mobile. Is this something you would support? Or do you think that delivering exam results in an envelope at school is a tradition that should be preserved?