Ofqual and Ofsted clash over Ramadan exams

The TES is reporting that the bosses of England’s two education watchdogs have clashed over the timing of GCSE and A-level exams to fit in with Ramadan.

Dame Glenys Stacey, chief executive of the exams regulator Ofqual, has written an open letter to Ofsted chief executive Sir Michael Wilshaw…

The chief inspector was asked on LBC radio about reports that exam dates had been changed to accommodate Ramadan.

He said he worried about religious communities “piling in” to try to have examinations moved, saying: “Once we give in to one religious group, we’ve got to give in to the other…”

But now Dame Glenys has written to Sir Michael to tell him he had misunderstood the situation.

“I refer to your comments broadcast in a recent LBC radio phone-in concerning Ramadan, which have been picked up by a number of the national newspapers today,” she said.

“I would like to confirm that exams have not been moved this summer to accommodate Ramadan, nor is there an intention to move them.

“Schedules are set to ensure that, as far as possible, no child is disadvantaged due to the timing of exams. This includes consideration of those who follow Islam…”

More at Ofqual and Ofsted clash over Ramadan exams


Hmmm – I’m getting really confused now.

I thought the position was that exams had already been changed to accommodate, where possible, the timing of Ramadan and the clarification was that more changes for this summer were not still being discussed as the timetable had been published?

That was certainly the position of Laura McInerney from Schools Week – who first broke the story – when explaining the confusion on twitter…

Is Dame Glenys being a little disingenuous here?

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  1. Does anyone know what’s going on?  Were the exams moved to accommodate Ramadam in 2016 or weren’t they?  Will they or won’t they be moved in 2017?  And shouldn’t Wilshaw have checked with Stacey before opening his mouth?  That’s presuming Dame Glenys knows what’s going on herself.
    Recent education reforms are supposed to make England a global leader.  With leaders like this we’re more likely to be a global laughing stock.

  2. Busy Mum

    “no child is disadvantaged due to the timing of exams.”

    Shouldn’t that read “no child is disadvantaged by being deliberately deprived of food?” Any other adult who did this to a child would be investigated by Social Services!

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