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 Post subject: september birthday
PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:28 pm 
Is there any point in highlighting a september birthday for my son who scored 119 and obviously had no help from the age standardisation process. His best friend with a July birthday passed on the 121 mark and maybe scored the same basic mark as my son. I don't want to criticise the system, but he won't get more homework or harder lessons next year because he is older, and he has had no more schooling than his younger classmates. thanks!!

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:54 am 
My daughter is a June child and although she hasn't had any less schooling I definately feel that she is less physically mature than her older classmates. My feeling is that she is at a disadvantage because she is less developed academically. Also nearly a year is a big difference for children at their age. I feel that the adjustment in points is not really a fair system, the majority of children in her school who passed were the older children. Only a couple young children passed.

 Post subject: September Birthday
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:56 pm 

Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2006 7:17 pm
Posts: 1
Hi First Time appeal mum. Am in similar position to you. To add to it my daughter got into a right state as everyone told her that she would have to get a higher mark because she's the oldest in the class. I wish the standardisation process was transparent, then at least we would feel more confident of the process..... IT's far too cloak and mirrors for me at this stressful time... :?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:32 pm 
My oldest child, a daughter, passed with full marks in two of the three tests they took in her day, and her birthday is middle August. And that is my point, really. She is and always has been mature for her age - my youngest who we're now appealing for, is oldest in his year yet certainly not the most mature. It's down to each individual child and is not directly connected to age - doesn't help towards an easier answer to the problem, I know. My youngest certainly felt the pressure of knowing that he had to do better than his friends to achieve the same score.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:38 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:10 pm
Posts: 8762
Location: Buckinghamshire
You certainly need to have a very good understanding of statistics to make any sense of the standardisation process, and I certainly don't have that!

There was a debate on the subject on the Forum last year. Based on those who joined in (a small and very un-statistically sound sample), several people reported that they felt that the children who suffer most from standardisation are those with mid-year birthdays - roughly Dec-Apr. They have neither the intellectual maturity of the oldest children, nor the benefit of extra marks from standardisation given to the youngest ones. Several parents reported that more children in the mid-year range seem to have failed or had a near miss.

I think the process remains a matter for discussion and no more. The tests are trialled by NFER across a representative sample, and the standardisation "mean" is then set according to the year's cohort. I don't think an appeal panel would take much account of a debate on the subject - it is such a fundamental part of the system.

It would be more worthwhile to spend the time on emphasising your child's academic strengths - especially for a child with a Summer birthday. There, at least you have a possible argument - if your child is a good academic performer, despite being an August birthday, and the panel raise their eyebrows, you can point out that NFER give them extra credit for their younger age, so why shouldn't you?! Unfortunately the argument does not work for older children.


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:37 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2005 12:49 pm
Posts: 1647
Location: berkshire
It is impossible to know how many more marks are awarded to a younger child.

During the discussion last year some facts did emerge (This is my recollection of them... and therefore may not be completely correct).

The standardisation is set by comparing cohorts taking the exam i.e.( for this example) the average of the 'August born' cohort with the average of the 'October born' cohort.

If, on comparison, the average of the August born cohort were 5 marks below the average mark of the October born cohort then the standardisation were obviously come into force.

If, on the other hand, there was no difference in the 2 cohorts average mark then there would be no standardisation.

Apparantly there is usually a difference between the average marks with the younger cohorts achieving the lower marks so standardisation is applied.

So really each child is only being compared with its own cohort.

Just my thoughts... feel free to disagree.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:07 pm 
The problem is - what about very premature children?!

A September born baby due at in December is doubly penalised - they are treated as a September born baby!!

In the days when younger pupils had had less time at school there was an argument - girls are more mature and boys used to get extra marks for this but this practice was ruled 'unfair' - make your own mind up.

In my experience of teaching in a Grammar school I always did a survey on birthdays - the spread should be the same as the population - it never was. There were always more younger children ...

To answer the point - focus on academic evidence - that's what the panel will look at.

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