A study carried out
by Stanford University and the Danish National Centre for Social
Research provides evidence that children who delay school entry by one
year demonstrate better self-regulation skills when compared to children
who start school on time. These benefits persisted as the students
progressed through primary school. The authors found that the one-year
delay resulted in a 73% reduction in inattention and hyperactivity by
the time the average student was 11 years old. Danish children start
school in the calendar year they turn 6, so there can be up to a year’s
difference in the age of the class.
The data were obtained from a national Danish mental-health screening
tool completed by more than 54,000 parents of 7-year-olds and a
follow-up of almost 36,000 parents when these same children were 11
Given that increased ability to control behaviour and pay attention
in class leads to improved academic performance, researchers examined
school assessment scores and found that students who delayed school
entry demonstrated higher scores than those who did not.
Source:The Gift of Time? School Starting Age and Mental Health (2015), The National Bureau of Economic Research.