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Exams brought forward

Discussion in 'Education news' started by David Getling, Jan 6, 2016.

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  1. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Am I the only one who thinks that this is outrageous. The UK is now overwhelmingly a secular country and the vast majority of kids are now going to have less time to prepare for their exam.

    In a modern democratic country, no one should be adversely affected by anyone else's religious beliefs.

    Shame on the examining boards!
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    JCQ Statement - Exam Timetables

    'There has been a clear misunderstanding in some parts of the media as to how the GCSE and A level timetable is set and the impact religious events, such as Ramadan, Easter and Passover have on it. It is important to note that the timetable for 2016 was drafted over a year ago, is published, and won’t be changing.'

    (jcq.org.uk, accessed 7th Janurary 2016.)
  3. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    [QUOTE="Vince_Ulam, post: 11548799, member: 1571584"]It is important to note that the timetable for 2016 was drafted over a year ago[/QUOTE]This doesn't mean that the exams weren't pushed forward to accommodate a minority interest. All this says is that this was done earlier than what people might have thought from reports in the media.

    As I've said before, in my day exams were in late June / early July. The later exams are the more time students have to be taught and revise. Making them earlier is never done with the interests of (most) students in mind.
  4. Geoff Thomas

    Geoff Thomas Star commenter

    Last year, for example, Maths GCSEs started on 26 May.

    When was your day?

    In fact, given that most independent schools finish in the first week of July, your claim could be a tad incorrect (?)
  5. Compassman

    Compassman Star commenter

    I remember that my last O Level was on the 21st June - don't know why I've remembered that from 1979.

    They certainly never went on into July.

    I do think that they nearly all happened in June but suspect the move in recent years for some to happen in May is due to the more diverse subjects that are now studied.
  6. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    I'd much prefer an entirely secular education system but surely this is the common sense solution? If pupils need that extra couple of weeks then they are the type that will never be ready. If nothing had been done it is possible that families would have made appeals to the schools and subsequently wasted the time of lots of exams officers who have more than enough to do at that time.
  7. darklord11

    darklord11 Occasional commenter

    Am I the only one who thinks that this is outrageous.
    Shame on the examining boards!

    Why are you so over the top in your reaction, the fact that fasting Muslim students taking exams will have had little sleep and won't eat until they break their fast at sunset, will already have some form of fatigue, so having exams in the morning or a little earlier will simply help minimize any under performance.
    ilovesooty and aspensquiver like this.
  8. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    As observing a fast is voluntary Muslim religious leaders should advise students taking exams not to observe Ramadan in with a fast that year. Problem solved.
    HelenREMfan likes this.
  9. darklord11

    darklord11 Occasional commenter

    Wrong, this is a religious duty for practicing Muslims.
  10. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    Don't know why you're so steamed up over this @David Getling - you don't teach do you.

    The Equality Act 2010 gives staff and students protection from discrimination on grounds of specified protected characteristics, including religious or philosophical belief.

    Therefore, it is unlawful to treat a teacher or pupil less favourably because of their religion or belief, or to apply any provision, criterion or practice (PCP) that disadvantages a particular group without the PCP being a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim. In this situation, PCPs could include any arrangements made for revision or sitting exams, which could arguably place Muslims observing the fast at a severe disadvantage.
  11. Yoda-

    Yoda- Lead commenter

    Taking into account citizens religious observances when planning important events seem common sense to me.

    England does have an established church and as such I don't believe we are a secular country. Even so we mostly seem eventually to pick common sense solutions to problems particularly with regards to religion.
  12. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    It's a duty which children, for example, are exempt from.

    My suggestion is that Muslim religious leaders look at their religion in the round, examine the wider context, and bring it more up to date. Fit for the 21st century.
  13. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    As a matter of interest how would you square this particular circle? Not all exams can be held in the morning, for example.
  14. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    It is a duty which all Muslims are obliged to fulfil once they are over the age of puberty - unless they are ill, menstruating, pregnant or (I believe) breastfeeding.
    If you have a look at a few Muslim Q&A sites where people have asked whether it is permitted to abstain from fasting because of exams, the answer is 'no' as exams are not mention in the Q'ran as being an acceptable reason.
  15. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Time to reinterpret the Koran then, I suggest.

    PS Did you miss my other question as to what solution you have?
  16. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    I am over the top about any disadvantage being inflicted on people because of
    [This comment/section has been removed for breaching our Community Guidelines/Terms and conditions]
    The vast majority of people do not believe in anything. They may trot along to church for a wedding or a Christmas sing song, but this is more a custom, like throwing salt over one's shoulder, rather than a confirmation of belief.
  17. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Fasting in Ramadan does not apply to children. Even if they choose to fast, it is not the lack of food that will make exams difficult but more likely the lack of sleep due to the holding of late-night iftar and early-morning sohur banquets by family members.
    ilovesooty, aspensquiver and Yoda- like this.
  18. johnnymitchell

    johnnymitchell Established commenter

    This poorly constructed sentence seems to say that exams should be changed around to suit one group of pupils.

    There are many groups who might perform better if exams were at a different time of year. Pupils with allergies are at a disadvantage in summer and their condition isn't self inflicted. There will always be pupils who are disadvantaged because of the time of year no matter when exams are set and I don't see why any particular group should get dates changed to suit them.
    Yoda- and primenumbers like this.
  19. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    Exams have been drifting forwards for years. This is partly to accomodate more modules / papers and reduce clashes, but also I suspect to give exam boards more time to get them marked.
    They've always finished before the end of June since my late teens.
    I have some sympathy with the "need more time" argument as it's difficult to cover the content for several science exams.
  20. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    I think that you are all forgetting that David lives off tutoring.

    Every week that exams come forward is a week of lost income!
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