01/11/2011 07:37 GMT | Updated 01/01/2012 05:12 GMT

August Babies Less Likely To Go To Top Universities, More Likely To Be Bullied, Research Claims

Children born in August are less likely to go on to study at top universities, more likely to be bullied at school and struggle to catch up with their peers, a study has revealed.

The report, claims those who are born in the summer months are more than twice as likely to report being "always unhappy" at school or being bullied all the time, compared to classmates born in September.

The research, published on Tuesday by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), also claims August babies are a fifth less likely to attend a Russell Group university than their September peers. Those who are seemingly unfortunate enough to have been born during August also:

  • Score "substantially lower" in national achievement tests
  • Have lower confidence in their academic ability
  • Are less likely to believe they control their own destiny

The figures resulted from a comparison between August and September babies and it seems the latter have a natural head-start in the world.

But the research also found parents of children born in August provide a "richer home learning environment".

"This provides some evidence to support the notion that parents attempt to compensate for the disadvantages that their August-born children face in school by spending more time at home helping them learn", the report continues.

Ellen Greaves, a research economist at IFS, said the consequences of being born in a particular month "clearly extended" beyond educational attainment.

"Particularly at younger ages, summer-born children are more likely to report being unhappy at school.

"In light of this, the government should be concerned about the experience of summer-born children who appear to be at a disadvantage in terms of their well-being as well as their test scores", she added.

But similar research was published in 2008 by the then Labour government, who suggested summer-born children should be allowed to defer entry for up to a year.