Lee Elliott Major & Steve Higgins

The explainer: do summer-born children suffer educationally?

Being younger than their peers can hold pupils back – and the effects can last for years

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What's the issue?

Children born between June and August do less well at school, on average, than their older peers.

At age 7, August-born pupils are a whopping 26 percentage points less likely to make expected progress than otherwise identical September-born pupils. But the summer born catch up when they are older, right?

Well actually, no. The gap remains educationally and statistically significant. In England, the summer-born are 6.4 percentage points less likely to achieve five GCSEs at grades A*–C or equivalent and around 2 percentage points less likely to go to university at age 18 or ...

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