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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 August 2006, 11:54 GMT 12:54 UK
Students download GCSE results
By Caroline Gall
BBC News, Birmingham

More than 300 GCSE students in England and Wales have taken part in an online pilot project that aims to revolutionise the way pupils access their results.

Charlotte Hayes
I got the grades I needed... but I'd much rather be sat at home in my pyjamas looking at results than sat here at school
Charlotte Hayes
The Results Plus system has been tried at nine schools and pupils taking the Edexcel exam board's GCSE maths this year have been logging on since 0630 BST to find out their grades.

Armed with a user name and password, students can log on to get their results and see how close they were to getting a different grade, what answers they got wrong, check model answers and see what areas they excelled at or struggled with.

Next year, Edexcel will be offering the service for all of its exams.

'Really useful'

Lynda Roan, head teacher at Hillcrest School and Sixth Form College in Birmingham - one school using the system - told BBC News she would like to see it rolled out across England and Wales.

"It is absolutely brilliant. It is so immediate and detailed and the fact it breaks everything down staff can see how students are performing and where we need to improve as teachers."

Pupil Shelley Hemmings, 16, said she found the site easy to navigate and is happy to obtain her results online.

Hillcrest School and Sixth Form College access their GCSE results
The information helps build a profile of each student
"I spent 20 minutes looking at my paper and found it really useful," she said.

"I like the idea of being able to access results from wherever you are instead of coming into school."

Sixteen-year-old Casandra Wood got a C grade in her maths paper and plans to train in beauty therapy.

"The system confirmed what I already thought and I can easily see where I went wrong," the teenager said.

"I got 10 A* - C grades and I'm really pleased. I would like to have got all my results online."

Charlotte Hayes received a D in her maths and said it was valuable in terms of deciding whether to re-sit the exam.

"If I was 12 marks off a grade then I would not re-take it but knowing I was only two off I would.

Students are becoming consumers and in a survey, 78% of pupils wanted to access their results on a computer
Jerry Jarvis, managing director of Edexcel

"I got the grades I needed to study a National Diploma in animal management - but I'd much rather be sat at home in my pyjamas looking at results than sat here at school."

Jerry Jarvis, managing director of Edexcel, said making sure the system could cope with thousands of pupils logging on at the same time was vital.

"I was staggered to see how the pupils were glued to the screen for 10-12 minutes checking their papers," he said.

"Next year we will have more data on the system than the average bank so ensuring the system is safe and can handle the volume of users is vital.

"Students are becoming consumers and in a survey, 78% of pupils wanted to access their results on a computer.

"There is a high cost in running the system but so far today it's been a great success and next year all our exam results will be available this way."

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