07 January 2016

Summer exams will not be fitted around Ramadan, confirm boards

This summer’s timetable for GCSE and A-levels is fixed and will not be changed to further accommodate Muslim pupils who may be fasting despite recent media reports, examination boards have said.

The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ), which represents the major exam agencies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, said there had been a “clear misunderstanding in some parts of the media” over the 2016 exam schedule after it announced that the timetable had taken Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, into account.

In a strongly worded statement the council said the timing of Ramadan had been considered in the same way as other events – such as the Queen’s diamond jubilee in June 2012 – and that the timetable was not open to change.

Some media outlets, including the Daily Mail, Sun and Daily Telegraph, suggested on Wednesday that the timetable was still in flux as a result of the discussions held between the exam boards, the exam regulator Ofqual and Islamic leaders, which appears to have raised concerns that crucial exam dates could change. [The Guardian] Read more