Reseach Focus: Is Deferred School Entry a Panacea to Address the August Birth Penalty?

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Webinar Runtime: 51 Minutes

The UK is one of the countries with the earliest onset of primary schooling, at age 4-5 in reception class. At the same time, it is well known that the youngest children in a cohort tend to perform less well at school than their older classmates, which is sometimes referred to as the August birth month penalty. Against this backdrop, schools and local authorities sometimes face decisions about deferred or delayed entry into reception class.

This webinar discusses scientific evidence on the August birth month penalty, deferment policies, and the benefits of schooling in reception class. It is based on an original piece of research involving representative data from household surveys and official school records, which followed children over time from reception class entry up to age 11. By discussing the evidence base, the webinar aims to enable school leaders to take informed decisions on the important topic of deferred school entry.

Research Source: Early school exposure, test scores, and noncognitive outcomes (March 2019), CReAM Discussion Paper Series CDP 03/19, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration

Learning Outcomes

  • The August birth month penalty: what is the evidence?

  • Deferred versus delayed school entry – two policies with crucial differences.

  • Overview on the research results of our recent study on the benefits of early schooling

  • Implications for practitioners

  • Conclusion: Is a deferred entry a panacea to address the August birth month penalty?

Thomas Cornelissen

About The Expert

Thomas Cornelissen

Internationally renowned expert on the effects of early childhood education on skill development.
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