A new study has demonstrated that kids are likely to perform poorly in their academics if they their admission in school is delayed.
The study conducted by University of Warwick suggested that children who are born more than three weeks before their due date would benefit from starting school a year later than those who were born at full-term.
Corresponding author Professor Dieter Wolke, from the Department of Psychology and Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, said that their study showed that delaying school entry has no effect on Year 1 teacher ratings of academic performance, but it was associated with poorer performance in age-standardised tests of reading, writing, mathematics and attention as the children get older.
At the time of assessment in Bavaria, all children reaching six years of age before 30 June started school the following September. The team studied 999 children, of which 472 were born preterm. These new findings are particularly applicable to preterm children who are born up to four months before their due date and may enter school less mature compared with their peers. The researchers compared teacher ratings of achievement in Year 1 and then looked at the results of standardised mathematics, reading, writing and attention tests when the children reached 8 years of age.
Co-author Julia Jaekel, from the Department of Developmental Psychology at the Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, said that many parents of pre-term children believed delaying school entry would be more beneficial.
Jaekel said that many parents demand that preterm children should be held back, particularly if they were born in the summer.
The study is published in the Journal of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology