Children who are born in summer are considerably less likely to attend top universities than pupils with autumn birthdays, a new research has revealed.
The youngest children lag behind older classmates by the age of seven and struggle to properly catch up throughout compulsory education, according to the report published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Despite being given additional help by parents, those born in August are 20 per cent more likely to take vocational qualifications at college and a fifth less likely to attend an elite Russell Group University than those with September birthdays.
The study also revealed the extent to which a child's date of birth influences their self-perception, social and emotional development and chances of being bullied at school.
"It is clear that the consequences of the month in which you were born extend beyond educational attainment," the Telegraph quoted Ellen Greaves, IFS research economist and the report's author, as saying.
"We find evidence that, particularly at younger ages, summer-born children are more likely to report being unhappy at school and to have experienced bullying than autumn-born children.
"In light of this, the Government should be concerned about the wider educational experience of summer-born children, who appear to be at a disadvantage in terms of their well-being as well as their test scores," he added.
The report - funded by the Nuffield Foundation - was based on an analysis of three major studies that track children from birth through their education and into early adulthood.