I think the most important thing is to go to schools and ask them a very open question about how they handle the issue of summer born children.
And then listen carefully to how they respond. You are looking for a school that admits that there can be an issue, but has a coherent approach to differentiating within the class and that treats all children as individuals. And you definitely DON'T want a school that wrings its hands and says "well, they'll always be a bit behind ..."
Also, you say that "Socially and emotionally he's as developed as the oldest child." If that's the case, you may well find you don't have too much to worry about. It's those who are very young and simply not ready for a school environment who really struggle.
Ruby, have you looked round any yet? I think seeing for yourself may tell you the questions and the answers, in one go, and more besides. Children do change loads at this age though, so if you are lucky enough to have a choice and you have a good school local enough that most children round you go to it, I would set the bar quite high for others to beat that. Having friends in the street and round the corner makes a huge difference to family life when they are little.
Yes, all school deal with it, some much better than others, like everything else. I would not necessarily say small is better - a larger school may have more way and means to support different children at different stages.
I don't think you will find anything specific - the characteristics that summer borns are prone to show a bit more often than September borns will also be found in children of all ages - so what you are looking for is a school that caters for the needs of the individual, however out of synch and for whatever reason. Good luck!
Just remember that every school handles summer borns year after year, on average one sixth of the class will be born in July and August and the teaching should handle differences due to age, ability, inclination etc readily.
Does anyone have any opinions / experiences of what the best sort of school for an august / late summer born child is? (If there is a best sort). Socially and emotionally he's as developed as the oldest child. Cognitively he is about average for his actual age, which is going to mean he is behind the oldest kids in his year? Like every mum, I really want him to be as prepared as they are for each educational challenge so he doesn't get discouraged / labeled / left behind. Things we thought we might need to look out for: . Does the school focus on low as well as high attainers - what would give an indicator of this? . Is there anything special in place for summer borns, do schools usually have a policy or should I just the response to my question? Does anyone have any experience of what schools can do to help summer borns keep up that is effective? We sort of ran out of ideas! . Are Sats results important? (more getting level 2s at ks1 and ks2 means more individual attention to each child? or just pushing everyone to be average?) . Is a small school better than big or is it about TA / Teacher ratio? . Is an infants school better than a primary school? . Is a small nurturing school good or can this risk coddling them too much when they need to develop independence (DS is outgoing but still very much enjoys being babied even when he can do things himself.)
Just an aside: If your DC was quite easily led by others / not very strong willed and often copied blindly or got distracted if other children are doing something exciting, would this also effect your choice of school peer group wise or size wise? This might just be a factor of his age! I imagine at the KS1 stage classroom behaviour is less of an issue; they all seem to be so much more obedient and good natured at that age!