New report suggests adjusting August born's test results.

(230 Posts)
Suzieismyname Fri 10-May-13 05:27:34

www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-22469216
This will be ignored by Gove, won't it?

Blu Fri 10-May-13 05:50:17

Ignore it? Won't be sit up and take notice and swiftly make provision to allow Academies and Free schools to select on date of birth thus having more independence to manipulate their stats?

Interesting study. If the results gap is 6% perhaps they could adjust the figures by 0,5% per month.

NarkyNamechanger Fri 10-May-13 06:11:58

As above- you'd have to make allowances for each and every month then. My end of July child would instead become the 'youngest'.

losingtrust Fri 10-May-13 06:45:14

My child also end of July and has the same issues as an August born.

Suzieismyname Fri 10-May-13 07:38:48

Sorry, article does actually say 'summer-born'.

senua Fri 10-May-13 08:19:21

The concept is nothing new; I presume that they are trying to make a news story about some research that they have just done (on Millennium babies IIRC).
Our grammar school has age-adjusted the results of entrance tests for many years.

DeWe Fri 10-May-13 09:37:47

I suspect you'd then find employers and universities giving priority to winter borns. If they haven't caught up by age 18, when are they expected to catch up?

You're not going to find an employer saying "oh she can't be expected to meet as many targets because she's a summer born".

Suzieismyname Fri 10-May-13 09:44:47

I think you'd find that they already do...
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21579484

SuffolkNWhat Fri 10-May-13 09:44:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lottieandmia Fri 10-May-13 09:45:57

I know a few people with primary aged children who were August born and were labelled as 'low ability' as early as reception or Y1. The problem is that these children get the message that they are not able from a young age and so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as they get older too.

At 4 or 5 years of age, even 6 months can make all the difference to a child's development imo. The gap certainly will close as a child gets older - I would dispute whether it makes any difference at GCSE level. But if children get the message early on in their school career that they are not academic then that's very unfair on them .

DeepRedBetty Fri 10-May-13 09:48:31

Surely if you adjust for August, you have to adjust a little bit less for July, then a little less again for June and so on right round to a tiny adjustment for October?

Lilymaid Fri 10-May-13 09:51:28

I have an August born DS (so this may be entirely anecdotal). He was always about six months behind the intellectual achievement of his class when he was at primary school. Hence, although bright, he couldn't retain what was being taught.

This impacted throughout his school career. In the end we paid a lot of money for him to be first tutored one to one and then go to a school with very small classes.

So, the answer is ultimately not to weight the marks but to give younger children more time and more attention ... but where is the money in the system for that?

50shadesofvomit Fri 10-May-13 09:54:55

My personal experience is that it makes a difference at primary (especially infants) but by secondary school age, it sorts itself out as long as sets are flexible.

prh47bridge Fri 10-May-13 09:56:46

As others have said this is nothing new although different research reports disagree about the size of the effect and the extent to which summer born children catch up during their school career. I don't know what can be done about it however. Moving the cut off date will simply disadvantage a different set of children. Evidence on allowing summer born children to start a year late suggests this leads to them falling behind their contemporaries.

Regarding Senua's comment on grammar schools, many use non-verbal reasoning tests, which are essentially the same kind of thing used in IQ tests. Scores in these change dramatically with age at the time children would be taking grammar school entrance tests so they definitely should be age-adjusted. One minor amusement is parents saying that the tutor they used achieved a big improvement in their child's NVR score when in fact the improvement was simply what one would expect with age!

SpanielFace Fri 10-May-13 09:56:54

This makes me sad.

PFB DS was born 31st August last year. He wasn't due until September, and the one thing I said was that he had to stay put until 1st September. He obviously didn't listen though.

There's no way you can keep them back a year, is there?

ReallyTired Fri 10-May-13 10:01:05

National curriculum tests and GCSEs are supposed measure ATTAINMENT not intelligence. Either a child can do the exam paper or they can't.

It would be ridicolous to take age into account when marking GCSEs. A six year old put in for GCSE maths would only need 5% to get an A and hapless mature student would be awarded an F for scoring 95%,

I think the issue is summer borns being made to feel stupid in primary schools by obvious and premature streaming/ setting. A lot of the problems with August borns could be negated by having more flexiblity about school starting age.

Secondary schools should be allowed to put children in for exams when they are ready.

wordfactory Fri 10-May-13 10:02:30

I think adjustment for Summer borns is a good idea.

The evidence is very clear. Summer borns do less well.

I think one of the main factors is expectations. In the early years, when age matters enormously the expectations of teachers, parents and pupils begins to set. Ideas are formed as to who is able and who is not. Ofetn without recourse to age! This can stick.

I have summer borns (and prem to boot) and I took no prisoners on this. I made it abundantly clear to everyone and anyone that they not entitled to peg my DC's ability without reference to their age.

Consequently they were always considered perfectly able for their age. Now as teens they are simply considered able...

Lottie4 Fri 10-May-13 10:10:38

I know they are working on averages, but just because they are born in August doesn't mean they can't do well. My daughter was born on 24th August. She is in all the top sets at comprehensive school (we decided against grammar for personal reasons) and her language and maths teachers have told the children in those sets they are all capable of getting A/A*, so even if she doesn't quite get there, it sounds like she's on course for some good A & B grades. Mind you, it could work to her advantage and she'll come out with loads of a and A*s.

everlong Fri 10-May-13 10:11:45

Ds5 is end of August born and this is the main reason I put him in private at reception. He's doing ok, pretty well in most areas and I think that's down to small classes. There's quite a few August born in his class and they are all about the same level.

FadedSapphire Fri 10-May-13 10:13:10

Just think how amazing she would be if she had been a September baby Lottie4.....

Suzieismyname Fri 10-May-13 10:14:33

To be honest, I'd like a system that dealt with individual children rather than arbitrary age cut off dates. My August born DD1 was not ready for school last September whereas one of her friends born in September was.
I think there should be some kind of assessment for each child but that would cost far too much, wouldn't it? Oh and let all children be children and start them at 7...

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Fri 10-May-13 10:17:12

Ridiculous. You take an exam, you either get the marks or you don't. It would be much better to supports summer borns during KS1 so that they are on a level playing field at 16 rather than tell them all that they are all so stupid they can't be expected to attain the same as their friends who are only a matter of weeks older than them. They will carry it with them their whole lives. When employers look at their DoB they will downgrade their results in their heads so a August child who got an A fair and square will only be given credit for a B.

Lilymaid Fri 10-May-13 10:17:48

Some children are intellectually mature for their school year, others are physically mature, some are both. DS was physically mature, but not intellectually mature enough for the work set in his class, his friend was the opposite and both were August born.
It would be interesting to know what proportion of OU students were summer born - underachieving at school but eventually reaching their academic potential.

ratspeaker Fri 10-May-13 10:25:26

I'd be interested to know if anyone has done a similar study in Scotland.
Those turning 5 March to February are in the same year group. So it's a bit different from England
There is an option to wait a year in the case of Jan/Feb birthdays and I think those born after Sept may get approval to defer entry , not 100% sure on that but def know of Jan birthday kids waiting another "year" before starting school

higgle Fri 10-May-13 10:29:22

I would hope that those who need it would get support, but one rule does not apply to all. My birthday is in late August and, like a few of my friends who were also summer babies, I passed my 11 plus a year early. The little group of us ended up doing A levels when we were still 16 ( we were 17 when the resuots came out) and all went to university. We would have found it very frustrating to have to accord with some general principles to holdus back.

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