A study by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) reveals “gaps” between children born at the start of the academic year and those born at the end.
Drawing on data from existing studies, British researchers examined pupils’ educational achievement and wellbeing as well as parents’ and teachers’ perception of their abilities.
The findings show that children born in August are just over seven percentage points more likely to be studying for vocational qualifications than academic ones than those born in September.
August-born youngsters are also just over two percentage points less likely to go to university at age 19, and 1.5 percentage points (20%) less likely to attend a Russell Group university.
The study raises concerns that those born in summer may be making, or forced to make, choices that mean they will earn less than their peers later in life.
the report says the month of birth “might have consequences that last beyond formal education and into adulthood.”
Pupils born in September also performed slightly better in school tests, the report suggested, although the gaps close as youngsters grow up.
Teachers are also more likely to consider summer-born children to be below average in their schoolwork, it says.
Data from one survey looking at seven-year-olds shows that teachers are two-and-a-half times more likely to rate August-borns as below average in maths, the report notes.
Parents of youngsters born in August are only slightly more likely to say that their child has difficulty reading than those with children born in September.
But they are 10 percentage points more likely to say their child has difficulty with writing and 13 percentage points more likely to report problems with maths.
The IFS study also considered whether summer children enjoy school less or are bullied more than their peers.
Summer-born children are also likely to be less confident in their own academic abilities, the study suggests.