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ERIC Number: ED508563
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Feb
Pages: 61
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 38
International Thematic Probe: The Influence of Relative Age on Learner Attainment and Development
Sharp, Caroline; George, Nalia; Sargent, Claire; O'Donnell, Sharon; Heron, Maureen
National Foundation for Educational Research
This rapid review of research evidence was commissioned by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) to investigate the issue of relative age in the international context. The review findings are drawn from 18 research studies published from 2000 to 2008 and carried out in Australia, Chile, the United Kingdom and the USA together with further information supplied by international contacts in 13 countries and states. All of the studies found evidence of statistically significant effects for relative age comparing the youngest to the oldest in the year group. The evidence suggests that the Government's attention should be focused on ensuring developmentally appropriate and positive experiences for relatively younger children in the primary school and also on ensuring that the process for identifying children with special educational needs takes account of relative age. This, together with taking account of relative age effects in assessment results, would help to ensure that that differences in children's birth dates do not become a continuing source of disadvantage for children and young people. Two appendices are included: (1) Search Parameters Strategy; and (2) Country Context for the Countries Reviewed. (Contains 1 figure, 3 tables and 13 footnotes.)
National Foundation for Educational Research. The Mere, Upton Park, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 2DQ, UK. Tel: +44-1753-574123; Fax: +44-1753-637280; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Foundation for Educational Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Chile; United Kingdom; United States