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Summer-born children can struggle with maths

Summer-born children are significantly more likely to struggle with maths than older classmates, new figures show.

An evaluation of the Every Child Counts programme found that summer-born children were more likely to need extra maths tuition. Pupils with birthdays between May and August are around a third more likely to require intensive tuition in numeracy to bring them up to speed, it emerged.

Research found that large numbers of summer-born children were lagging 13 months behind in terms of maths compared with the average for their year group at the start of primary education.
Boys, children from poor families, those with special needs and pupils speaking English as a second language were also more likely to have poor maths skills.

But the study found that these children caught up – and in many cases overtook – other pupils after being given one-to-one help and small-group tuition by teams of specialist teachers in the first two years of school.

The disclosure – in a report by national charity the Every Child a Chance Trust – will fuel the debate over the best way to teach “disadvantaged” pupils.

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