The Metro reports that schools are being told to change revision classes and reschedule sports days to accommodate the needs of Muslim pupils fasting for Ramadan.
A new report is also urging schools to ‘show sensitivity’ when organising graduation celebrations and make PE lessons ‘less strenuous’ as fasting students could be weaker than normal.
This year the Muslim holy month of Ramadan falls starts at the end of May and will clash with GCSE and A Level exams across the country. It means that thousands of pupils could face sitting exams with empty stomachs, as those who have reached ‘maturity’ are forbidden to eat during daylight, in warm exam rooms at the height of summer.
The report has been published by the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), which represents more than 18,000 head teachers and college leaders.
Recommendations include schools should make adjustments to accommodate the needs of fasting pupils, hold exams in rooms in the shade, change times of revision lessons and provide prayer rooms as well as to make sure exam rooms are in the shade with fans and bottles of water available.
The report was written in consultation with scholars from across the spectrum of Islamic religion. The guidelines said: ‘Observing Ramadan may bring many benefits to individuals and communities, but also has the potential to cause the individual temporary hardship through hunger and lack of liquids during fasting hours which may impact on physical wellbeing and cognitive performance.
‘Young Muslims and families, particularly those sitting exams this summer, will need to balance their obligations as Muslims with their studies and the importance of examinations for their future, noting that the pursuit of education is also a religious and moral duty for Muslims of both genders.’
Does your school make any changes to pupils requirements during Ramadan? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter~ Tamsin
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