Venturing Into the Ramadan Non-Story 7 January 2016

Some controversies you just don’t see coming. Despite the political climate we’re living in, when I saw the Daily Mail’s frontpage from 7th January regarding exams, I did not expect to see as many heated and vitriolic comments as I did. I mean Ramadan is trending on Twitter, there is usually only one time of year Ramadan trends on Twitter, and that time of year is Ramadan. It currently is not Ramadan. So this whole thing has left me disorientated.


And part of the reason it is so confusing is that nothing really that major is happening. GCSEs and A-Levels are sat in May and June. For the next few years, Ramadan will fall in May and June. The Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) have decided that the most popular exams should be scheduled in the earlier part of the exam period, so that they can be completed before Ramadan starts. Lots of exams will still take place in Ramadan. The change is so imperceptible that had this story not been published, I doubt any would even have noticed.

That said, the response to such a minor scheduling decision has been significant. Michael Fabricant, the British poundshop version of Donald Trump, gave this important contribution to the debate: –

Julia Hartley-Brewer expresses her well researched outrage: –

Ash Bailey from the Forest of Dean is horrified so many are being inconvenienced, though the jury is still out on what is inconvenient about sitting exams in the usual exam period.

Jim Bob suggests that this will all lead to World War 2, I think…

Then there is PanaPhobe, I’m not sure how to break the news to them that timetable can indeed be a verb.

Then I found this and realised I had ventured way too deep into far-right Twitter: –

Venturing back into safer territory, here’s some final thoughts from Mark Moulding, Head of Public Relations for exam board AQA

Yep, as it turns out, nothing has been changed at all, the exam timetables were set years ago, and this is all a non-story.



About Abdul-Azim Ahmed

Dr Abdul-Azim Ahmed is Editor of On Religion magazine. He holds a doctorate in religious studies and an MA in Islam in Contemporary Britain.