Being the youngest in your academic year group isn’t quite the golden ticket to success and accelerated achievement that people may think.  In fact, the journey for these students can be fraught with academic, social and physical challenges.

There are many examples of super-achieving students, advanced through the academic years ahead of their peers.  They will often leave their own age group behind and develop tricky adult relations, mostly motivated by harvesting their prodigious talents.  However, for those conventional kids born on the 31st of August, they simply become the youngest in their year group and can face a host of challenges.

August born students are 6.4% less likely to achieve five qualifying GCSE’s than their contemporaries born in September. No doubt, this is due to research demonstrating their delayed rate of intellectual development compared to others.

There can also be many physical struggles; August students in primary school can be significantly smaller in physical stature than others.  This is a gap they rarely close until puberty has passed – quite something to live with for their entire school life!  Again, the research tells us that it can lead to bullying and consequential feelings of physical inadequacy

Social maturity and development are often stifled too; older and bigger students in the same year group can disregard smaller students, leaving them isolated from the same activities as others.  This prevents them from being fully integrated and learning the social skills consistent with their year group.

The overwhelming problem for these students is not that there’s anything wrong with them, but because they arrive at that point later, opportunities may have passed.  Similarly, if the opportunity still exists, the quality and output of their engagement can reflect a younger and less developed self, which makes them less likely to achieve.