In a letter to Sir Jim Rose, who is conducting a Government-backed review into primary education, Tim Oates, group director of assessment research and development at Cambridge Assessment, called for urgent research into how best to remedy the birthdate effect.
Mr Oates said, ‘For years, evidence of a birth date effect has stared out of qualifications data; summer-born children appear to have been strongly disadvantaged. While those responsible for working on these data have, through mounting concern, periodically tried to bring public attention to this very serious issue, it has been neglected by agencies central to education and training policy.’
We have seen many children leave the nursery who were patently not ready to go to school. But when school is free how many parents will be prepared to keep for their child to stay on at nursery?