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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 8:28 am 
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Location: Rugby
The Government insist parents should be given greater control over when children are enrolled in primary education – starting them part-time or later in the reception year to make sure they are “school ready”.

Summer-born children 'less likely to attend top universities' The youngest children lag behind older classmates by the age of seven and struggle to properly catch up throughout compulsory education, it was revealed.Those born in August are 20 per cent more likely to take vocational qualifications at college and a fifth less likely to attend an elite Russell Group university than those with September birthdays.

The study – published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies – also lays bare the extent to which a child’s date of birth influences their self-perception, social and emotional development and chances of being bullied at school.
It comes amid a continuing debate over the best way to educate summer-born children.

The report – funded by the Nuffield Foundation – was based on an analysis of three major studies that track children from birth through their education and into early adulthood.
It compared children born in September – at the start of the academic year – to those with birthdays in August to gauge the effect that this had on a range of issues relating to education and personal wellbeing.
Relative to peers with September birthdays, the study found that children born in August were:
• Likely to achieve “substantially” lower scores in national achievement tests and other measures of cognitive skills;
• 20 per cent more likely to study for vocational qualifications if they stay on beyond the age of 16;
• 20 per cent less likely to attend a Russell Group university aged 19;
• Between two-and-a-half and three-and-a-half times more likely to be regarded as below average by their teachers in reading, writing and maths at age seven;
• More likely to exhibit lower social and emotional development;
• Two-and-a-half times more likely to report being unhappy at school and twice as likely to report being bullied at the age of seven,
The study said gaps in performance decreased as children grow up.
It also found that August-born children were – on average – given a “richer home learning environment” than other pupils as parents seek to compensate for disadvantages their children face at school.
The IFS said further research would be published next year about how to address the imbalance at school level.
It suggested this may have “implications for the admissions policies that local authorities choose to follow” or may result in the need to test children at different stages or “age-adjust their scores in some way”.

source:


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/ed ... ities.html


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:56 am 
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Location: Buckinghamshire
I was interested in this report as DS1 is summer born.

So far (he is now in Y9) the only trait we have observed is the social/emotional immaturity, but then we are comparing him to classmates who could be nearly a year older so, of course, he is going to appear immature. Compared to a September born Y8 child he has a "normal" level of maturity because he is much closer to their age. Academically he compares favourably with his own year group. He achieved "above national average" scores in SAT's and has always been considered very able by teachers, he qualified comfortably for GS, is unlikely to study vocational qualifications and is generally happy at school. Yes, he has been given a "rich home learning environment" but no different from that provided for DS2 who is not summer born.

I think, as with all studies, the results can be interpreted to suit the argument and there will always be exceptions when dealing with broad generalities.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:15 am 
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DD1 is an August birthday and it has never disadvantaged her academically. Because of a house move she did not start primary school until Year 1, by which time she was already able to read and was quite advanced - though this was a surprise to us as, being our eldest, her experience of the educational system was the first for us as a family and so we had no idea of where she was in the grand scheme of things until she started school. She certainly never suffered from "low expectations" as she moved through the school system.

The first time her birth month really became an issue was fairly recently, and it turned out to be a practical rather than an educational problem. The university course DD wishes to apply for (veterinary science) demands an extraordinary amount of pre-application work experience. DD did not turn 16 until she was about to enter the 6th form, and many workplaces were unwilling to allow under 16s on their premises especially for placements not organized through the school. This would give someone with a September birthday a whole year more in which to clock up the necessary experience before applying for university at the beginning of Y13. Then when trying to secure a placement in a large-animal veterinary practices (essential for Liverpool university, for example) DD was told on more than one occasion that under 18s were not covered by the workplace insurance policy. Although this could theoretically disadvantage most Y13 students as they would all turn 18 during the course of the year, it was particularly difficult for her as she could not even book a placement in advance as she would always be up against applicants older than her in what is already a crazily competitive subject.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:17 am 
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Yes I believe this report having seen GCSE data for a massive local authority analysed by date of birth.

I don't think there are implications for admissions policies so much as for what is done with summer born children at pre-school settings, at home, and in reception class.

There are people who think summer born children should start school later, and others who think they should stay in nursery school settings longer, and others who think they would be best off at home with Mum or Dad. It's surely what they learn during their time in these places that matter rather than the admission policy.

And we mustn't forget that there are plenty of children who buck the trend - just because a child is summer-born does not mean they will have a lot of catching up to do. It is not always the case. Maybe some teachers are better at ignoring dates of birth than others, and maybe it's how "catching-up" in year 1 and year 2 at school is dealt with that is crucial. Younger children sometimes seem to end up dumped in the slower progressing SEN groups in year 1 and year 2. That isn't really going to help them.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:28 pm 
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mystery wrote:
just because a child is summer-born does not mean they will have a lot of catching up to do. It is not always the case.


This was certainly true for our eldest child. The area where we used to live had a "rising fives" system in which she would not have started school until the summer term before her 5th birthday. As our house move was planned for the summer term there did not seem much point in starting school and then moving after a few weeks. The area we moved to had a system in which all children started school the September after their 4th birthday, which meant that when she started in year 1 just after her 5th birthday, her classmates had already been there for a whole year. However, DD was not in the least disadvantaged by this - she had not been to nursery school (though had attended day nursery part-time) but had effectively been home-educated by me for most of what would have been her reception year, since I had been on maternity leave and had plenty of time to spend with her on reading, writing and numbers. The net result was that she was actually ahead when she finally started school in year 1, though we had no idea that this would be the case.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:42 pm 
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In most state primaries children learn so little between the age of 5 and 11 that it really cannot be a disadvantage to be a summer baby. We were lucky and timed ours to be august birthdays so that they would not be so bored at school!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:02 pm 
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Location: Warwickshire
I know it won't happen but the way a number of countries operate works well (I think)- specifically I am thinking of southern hemisphere countries, NZ, Australia and South Africa where schools/parents have a little more flexibiity around when children start (or progress from Reception equivalent to Year 1). Their academic year is different but the equivalent would be birth months July, Aug, Sept, Oct - there is scope to go "forward" or be held "back". I think this has particular benefits for prem births where children can literally be starting school a year earlier than they should.
Independent schools here have a little bit more flexibility but it is my (limited) experience that they rarely use it.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:06 pm 
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magwich2 wrote:
In most state primaries children learn so little between the age of 5 and 11


Is this a mistake ?!! My DC school isn't the greatest but I have to stay they have learned quite a lot between those ages ! ( mainly healthy eating and not to smoke :) )

My DD is an August birthday and has only started to come on, although I think she was helped by having older siblings..birth order can be significant too. Looking at the children in all 3 of my Dc classes who are summer born , they may not be behind academically but do seem to be emotionally immature...but I wonder if that could be a self fulfilling prophesy ? You do hear it bandied around a lot that these children are expected to achieve less , at least initially, much in the way you hear boys constantly put down....


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:28 pm 
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No. No mistake. My ancestors, a long time ago founded Western Australasia, Perth; Wandering, They were rewarded, by the Crown, for their best efforts in advancing the interests of the mother country. since then we have all lost in that complex game which is contemporary existance.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:44 pm 
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Eh ? Put that whisky back in the desk drawer, Sassie's Dad !


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