August-born children more likely to be bullied, fail exams and need extra help, according to study
Children born in the summer suffer for being the youngest members of class. A study by the Department for Education has found that children born in August, nearly a full year younger than their oldest classmates, are less likely to achieve 5 A*-C GCSE grades, take A levels or go to university.
The findings have led some academics to suggest children are being pushed into formal education too early and should be allowed to develop at their own pace, starting compulsory schooling around age 6 or 7. This contradicts the idea put forward by former School Secretary Ed Balls, who said that children should start school at 4 to give them longer to master the basic skills.
At the age of 5, September-born pupils where found to be twice as likely to reach the expected levels of basic development as those born in August the following year. The trend continued through to exams at age 11, GCSEs and to a lesser degree, A-levels.
“To put this in context,” the report said, “10,000 summer-born children per year fail to achieve the standard at GCSE, which influences their chances of progressing to A-levels and beyond, purely because they are the youngest pupils sitting the GCSE examinations due to the timing of their birth and the school year.”
The survey also said that summer-born children had a higher risk of being bullied or being registered as special needs.
However, it is unclear how to solve this problem as changing the cut off date to another month will not stop some children being nearly a full year younger than the oldest members of their class.
Good point AL2, but it would probabaly be february born that are worst off.
My ds1 is february born-he is the youngest in his year making the cut off by a day. In some ways it shows-he lacks the concentration that some of the kids have and he does struggle with some of the work. There are times when i wish that i had kept him back a year but i know in other ways he was ready to go.
I, myself am March born, so was one of the oldest in my year at school. I wouldnt have said i found it any easier but there was a definate age grouping when you looked at the ability of the kids in my class and the groups that we were all put into, iyswim.
It does depend a lot on the child.My brother and I are both July birthdays,we both did well at school.My son has already done very well at school although he's the end of May.
It also depends on the school,they should be teaching the child according to their needs and abilities.Those born at the beginning of the year can also be held backMy October daughters both do very well,but it's been a case of constant nagging the teachers,and with my 7 year old a change of school to be sure they're getting work catering to their needs,rather than her not progressing further because we don't do such and such at this stage.
Physically though kids vary a lot in size,my son born in May has always been one of the biggest,it's only complete disinterest in sport that holds him back,my son born in January is still one of the smallest,while his best friend is a good six inches taller than him and anyone else in their class.
I do think it evens out as you get older,a child develops their own natural talents and abilities.At an early stage though there can be big differences,not just because of age,some children are more mature or more able,and all children should have support to learn at whatever stage they're at.
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