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Michael Blastland investigates why summer-born children do worse than those born in autumn or winter.

Children born in summer do worse than children born in autumn or winter. Not every one of them of course, but on average the effect is strong and clear. Their grades are likely to be worse, they're less likely to go to grammar school and research indicates admission to Russell Group universities is lower too. It's also suggested they are more likely to be told they have behavioural problems or learning difficulties, and they are more likely to be bullied, more likely to be excluded.

The disadvantage appears to goes on after education. So what's behind this and why isn't there more of an outcry?

Michael Blastland is on the case in the second series of non-fiction whodunnits, unravelling the causes at the root of the biggest trends. These are true-life mysteries that creep up on us until the pattern of our lives is altered. He examines the culprits and punctures presumptions about causation and its implications for policy making.

Whodunnit? is a new kind of investigation. It owes its style to detective storytelling. But the cases are unequivocally real. These are societal mysteries - true-life changes in the pattern of our lives.

Presenter: Michael Blastland
Producer: Katherine Godfrey
Research: Daniel Hardoon
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4.

Available now

14 minutes