Many parents are keen to hold their children back a year if they were born prematurely or in the summer months, researchers said.
    
The parents argue their child will not be mature enough to start school and previous research has suggested 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.
    
However, a new study published in the Journal of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology contradicts these findings and claims starting school a year later does not lead to better academic performance for pre-term or full-term children and could in fact cause poorer academic performance as the children get older.
    
The paper has been authored by academics at the University of Warwick, Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany), Loughborough University, University of Oxford and the University of Leicester.

"Our study shows that delaying school entry has no effect on Year 1 teacher ratings of academic performance, but it is associated with poorer performance in age-standardised tests of reading, writing, mathematics and attention as the children get older," said corresponding author Professor Dieter Wolke, from the Department of Psychology and Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick.

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