Summer-born children 'more likely to do worse' at school

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August born children are more likely to struggle academically and be unhappy at school, according to new research.

Previous research has suggested that children born in the summer could be at an academic disadvantage compared to their autumn-born peers.

But new research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies reveals that August born children are also twice as likely to be bullied and have less confidence in their academic abilities.

The research, based on the records of 48,500 children and teenagers in England, found that teachers were more than twice as likely to regard August born children as below average in reading, writing and maths at age seven.

They were also more likely to report children born in August as being bullied and always unhappy at school, in comparison to their autumn born peers.

According to the research, the gap in outcomes between summer and autumn-born children continues into adolescence, with August born children 20 per cent less likely to go to top universities such as Oxford and Cambridge than a student born in September. Instead summer-born children are more likely to study for a vocational qualification.

Claire Crawford, programme director at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and one of the authors of the study, said, ‘Studying for academic qualifications, attending a top university, and believing that you have control over your own life are all associated with a greater chance of being in work and having higher wages later in life. This suggests that August-born children may end up doing worse than September-born children throughout their working lives, simply because of the month in which they were born.’

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