Headteacher’s letter – April 2019
Dear Parent / Carer
As we once again approach the holy period of Ramadan I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family many holy blessings. I understand that Ramadan 2019 will start on the evening of 5 May and end, with Eid al-Fitr festivities falling on Tuesday 4 June.
I am very concerned that the start and end of Ramadan will once again coincide with the UK GCSE public exam season. As Ramadan moves forward 11 days each year it will also coincide with GCSE public exams in 2020 and 2021.
Grades attained at GCSE and A Level are critical to the further education and career prospects of young people. Due to the importance of these grades, young Muslims sitting GCSE public exams will need to seriously and thoughtfully take their future and their studies into account, alongside their religious observance of Ramadan, when deciding how they will observe Ramadan in 2019. According to many Islamic scholars, pupils revising for and taking GCSE public exams may be exempt from fasting.
From a school viewpoint, there is a significant safeguarding issue with lack of food, water and sleep and we have made adjustments to support students and families who are fasting:
- The main hall will be allocated as a quiet place at break and lunchtime. It is also the coolest part of the school.
- Those pupils who are on free school meals are still entitled to claim a free meal. We will put together “grab bags” for students to take home.
I am very keen to work alongside local leaders and Imams to ensure we work together as a community. It is very important that we observe Ramadan but with the best interests of our pupils in mind so that young Muslims achieve the very best GCSE grades in the next few years.
If there is anything else we can do as a school to support your child during the holy Ramadan period please do let us know.
My thoughts and prayers will be with you during this holy period.
Mr X Bowers