Ramadan and exams 2017
This year, Ramadan coincides with the examination season, as it did last year. The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has worked with a wide spectrum of British Muslims from a range of theological persuasions, including both Sunni and Shia, to produce an information paper for schools and colleges to help leaders initiate discussions with Muslim students and their families on how best they can balance their Islamic obligations and do well in their exams.
We have selected some of the advice and guidance to share with parents of students observing Ramadan during this examination period. A full copy of the report can be found here. We have been made aware of the flexibility of Islamic Law to delay or withdraw from fasting and late night prayers if it is believed performance in exams could be affected and that Islam does not require Muslim students to put their futures in jeopardy. The report also states that Muslim students may “break the fast and make it up later if they feel fasting will in any way jeopardise their performance”.
The guidance asks that we inform students and their families that “extra devotions in Ramadan are voluntary; whereas for a child or young person to perform well in exam given their consequences is obligatory”. It therefore recommends that where students have important exams they should not spend all night praying to avoid being tired and therefore unable to perform as well in their exams. We would like to highlight that following government changes to A Level assessments exams for many subjects are now much longer than previously with students sitting 2 hour exams or longer which has not previously been the case.
If you are happy to let us know whether your son/daughter is fasting we can aim to support them by running their revision sessions in cooler classrooms/ensuring they are near fans, providing a quiet space for them to rest during the lunch break and access to a prayer room in the X Block, room XJ.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family Ramadan Mubarak.