There is considerable variation in the age at which children in England start school, largely because those born between September of one year and August of the following year tend to start school at the same time. Recent IFS research examined the effects of school starting age on educational attainment, and found large and persistent effects. There is currently relatively little evidence on the extent to which other skills and behaviours may also be affected by school starting age, however.
This project has two key aims:
- To identify the impact of month of birth on the development of a range of key skills - including cognitive, non-cognitive, behavioural, social and emotional skills - and engagement in a range of risky behaviours - including smoking, drinking and anti-social behaviour - amongst today's children.
- To identify the best school admissions policy - in terms of all-round skill development and overall behaviour, as well as educational attainment - for a child born towards the end of the academic year, with a view to making clear and practical policy recommendations.
We will use data from the Millennium Cohort Study, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, and the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England for this work, which, together, allow us to examine the effects of month of birth and school admissions policies on a wide range of outcomes from birth through to early adulthood.