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Does anyone know of research comparing outcomes of summer/autumn born children?

62 replies

WilfSell · 28/05/2008 12:00

Just wondering, since I have both a September and an August child, neither of which are at school yet and wondering whether there is any sound academic research demonstrating some of the anecdotal differences mentioned on the other thread about this...?

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Saymyname · 28/05/2008 12:02

Interesting question Wilf. I don't know the answer, although I'm August and my big brother is September and I performed better than him academically.

Saymyname · 28/05/2008 12:03

Just realised that's more anecdotal stuff, sorry!

WilfSell · 28/05/2008 12:04

should which be whom actually...?
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Threadwworm · 28/05/2008 12:11

Should be 'whom'. Obviously you are an August birth.

More anecdotal stuff: My DS1 was born mid-august, and his due date was early September. Which makes him about as young as it is possible to be in his year. He has done absolutely fine academically. Social side was a little harder for him but no significant problems. Tends to be a follower not a leader.

AMumInScotland · 28/05/2008 12:11

I'm sure I remember there being some, but no idea where, sorry

mrz · 28/05/2008 12:17

snorkle · 28/05/2008 12:56

There's been loads and with all sorts of results.

This provides an overview of some of them.

I couldn't get your link to work mrz - expect it was similar.

WilfSell · 28/05/2008 12:58

just the ticket snorkle - thanks. I'll read the review and try and summarise if anyone else is interested...

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Flier · 28/05/2008 13:00

i'd be very interested in your summary, wilfsell

WilfSell · 28/05/2008 13:10

just had a quick scan read and actually, although this review is dated 1995 (and we should probably look at research done in the last 10 years as well), in almost all factors except for special needs referrals, the evidence seems to suggest there is a significant difference in outcomes, favouring autumn and winter born babies, with summer borns experiencing the lowest outcomes.

The differences appear (and I can't really comment without reading all the studies in full!) to be to do with degree of effect, that is, whether the impact is 1 or 6 percentage points of disadvantage; and at what point if at all the disadvantages are ironed out.

Some say the difference is moderate; some say it is small. some say the difference is there at 9 and 11 but is not there at 16-17, some say it is still there.

i'd be interested to know if there is more recent research but will look myself when I get a minute.

Interesting reading anyhow.

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mrz · 28/05/2008 13:56 -season-of-birth-effects.cfm

AbbeyA · 28/05/2008 13:56

I will try and find it and get back to you. I went on a course last January (for gifted and talented) and there was some data for university students that was very recent. I was astounded by it, summer born boys came out particularly badly. I have a son with Aug birthday and I was told they catch up around year 5 but this is not the case.(it may take some time because I am about to go out).

ChazsBarmyArmy · 28/05/2008 13:59

There was some research published late last year by the IFS (Institute of Fiscal Studies). It shows the differences continue at least up to GCSE if not A level.

This page on the IFS site should start you off

popsycal · 28/05/2008 14:00

I have an August born ds1, march born ds2 and will have a september born ds3!

DS1 manages school brilliantly - well more than 'manages'.

He breezed into nursery, reception and y1 while some of his older class mates found it difficult.

His friend who is also an August birthday found reception and nursery hard - socially and emotionally - but is holding his own acadmeically.

I really think it is more to do with personality tbh.

DS2 starts nursery in September (March born) and I am very concerned about him emotionally and socially coping with things.

It will be strange as there will only be 6 years (only just!) between ds1 and ds3 when he arrives - but 8 school year. ds1 will be in Year 7 when ds3 starts reception!!!!

ChazsBarmyArmy · 28/05/2008 14:02

I should add that DS1 and DS2 are both August babies - how about that for bad planning.
However, I was also an August baby, was top of my class in most subjects and the first member of my family to go to university.

popsycal · 28/05/2008 14:02

another anecdotal thing.

As a teacher, I see more children in lower sets from summer birthdays than autumn/winter ones. That is not to say that there are no older pupils just proportionally less (IME as a teacher in a particular school). I teach years 5 and 6

Oliveoil · 28/05/2008 14:03

well call me an ostrich, but what is the point of reading doom and gloom things about August births if there isn't anything you can do about it?

dd2 is August 27th and starts in September [gibber] and can hardly hold a pen

I am not reading anything at all unless it is positive

popsycal · 28/05/2008 14:03

But then, ds1 (august) is the best reader in his class by a long way and best in maths (according to his teacher) SO not always true

(now I will get jumped on for 'boasting')

WilfSell · 28/05/2008 14:05

see that's interesting popsycal.

If schools were able to, had the resources and were being fair, sets ought to be organised by age as well as ability (eg taking into account summer born status - so kids could be doing well for their age...?)

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WilfSell · 28/05/2008 14:06

OO, I guess if some authorities have a flexible start policy and you want your kid to start a year later...?

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popsycal · 28/05/2008 14:06

I agree.

A lot of tests (eg KS1 sats and OCA3, 4, and 5 tests) can be age standardised but some schools don't bother - presumably due to time constraints

It is very interesting though

popsycal · 28/05/2008 14:07

I also dread to think what would have happened if ds1 had been born late rather than early - he could have been a September baby. I think we would have had serious behavioural problems in reception....

WilfSell · 28/05/2008 14:09

Now I'm even more Peed off that footballers are much more likely to be autumn/winter borns!

Oh god, it's down to DS2 to make it into the England squad then... the other two will have to be fairground attendants or summat...

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ChazsBarmyArmy · 28/05/2008 14:11

DS1 is on ORT3 in reception and I have been told he is a little bit behind some of the others. I think ORT3 for a 4.9yo is good. if he was 5.8yo (i.e.Sept rather than Aug)I might have a different view. I think at this age some sort of age weighting should be taken into account.

WilfSell · 28/05/2008 14:14

OK the thing that bothers me about the Hutchison and Sharp research is that it isn't controlling for social class.

While I'm quite happy to believe there is an age effect, I'll bet a million quid this is mitigated by class (and/or educational level of parents)...

In other words, I wonder how strong the age effect is for younger kids with lunatic hothousers middle class parents?

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