15 January 2016

No plan to move exams for Ramadan, Ofqual chief tells schools inspector

The heads of England’s two most powerful education bodies, the exam regulator Ofqual and the schools regulator Ofsted, have clashed over reshaping the summer exam timetable to accommodate Islam’s holy month of Ramadan.

Glenys Stacey, the chief executive of Ofqual, has issued a public letter to her counterpart at Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw, following Wilshaw’s warning that any changes to the GCSE and A-level timetable could lead to other groups “piling in” as a result.

Wilshaw told the London talk radio station LBC: “Once we give in to one religious group, we’ve got to give in to the other.” He said pressure from such groups could make the exam timetable unmanageable.

“Other groups might say we’ve got a festival here, a holy day there, we want you to change. Schools would find it very difficult to manage that,” said Wilshaw, the chief inspector of schools.

But in blunt terms, Stacey told Wilshaw: “I would like to confirm that exams have not been moved this summer to accommodate Ramadan, nor is there an intention to move them. [The Guardian] Read more