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(8 Posts)
LockedOutOfMN Tue 30-May-17 22:10:57

I was wondering what your schools provide for students and staff who are observing Ramadan.

I am worried that my school is rather negligent in this respect. We have a Muslim member of staff who several students went to see on Monday, being the first day back at school since the holy month began, to ask if there was somewhere they could go instead of the dining room at lunchtime. He sorted out a space for them off his own bat, then emailed their names to the other teachers so that we would know that they were authorised to be in this space at lunchtimes and also to keep an eye out for them (we're abroad and it's pretty hot at the moment). He is a part-time member of staff and extremely busy with various extra responsibilities. He has no management or pastoral responsibilities and so he isn't really responsible for "running" Ramadan other than the fact he is also Muslim (he isn't fasting herself this year for health reasons).

For me the senior management should be sorting this out and have a school wide policy for fasting students. Am I being OTT? What do you all do in your schools?

OP’s posts: |
Smilingthru Tue 30-May-17 22:24:12

We're 65% Muslim (although an Infant School so our children don't take part) with most of or support staff being Muslim. School is based in a very multicultural part of the city with lots of faiths.

Our staff are provided with a quiet room and the staff room has notices up about how we can support them through Ramadan. Both my TAs are taking part and on Friday we had a long discussion about what they need and want from me to support them.

As a school we are proud of our diverse catchment and staff team and do everything we can to support.

LockedOutOfMN Tue 30-May-17 22:35:54

Smilingthru Your school sounds way more supportive and just generally proactive and organised than ours.

This is a stupid question but one I haven't managed to find an answer for yet. Will our Muslim students need to pray during the school day? We have many hours of sunlight here in May / June and our school day runs from 09:15 (most students arriving at 09:00) to 16:30. Most students come on school coaches so they would leave home around 08:00/08:30 and get home at 17:30/18:00. For all of that time of day it's light.

Our school doesn't have a prayer room and the space they've been assigned for using at lunchtimes is not - in my opinion - suitable, or big enough, for praying. (Also there is no bathroom nearby).

OP’s posts: |
Smilingthru Wed 31-May-17 06:30:39

Some of our staff will pray and the room set up is suitable to accommodate this. Also due to our location some will go home or to the mosque as it's just down the road.

I think they are meant to pray during those hours but from the discussion I had with my TAs on Friday some can wait until they get home. Sounds like a personal choice thing.

Tattsyrup Wed 31-May-17 08:38:59

We don't have any Muslim staff but about 95% of our children are Muslim. We're a small primary school. Since we have no Muslim staff, we take advice from parents and the Muslim Council of Britain.
If children are fasting we have to have written consent from the parents. Children who are fasting just go straight out to the playground, instead of the dinner hall, at lunchtime. If the weather is hot we put aside the Year 5 and 6 classrooms for them instead, with one room off-bounds to the boys so the girls can take off their hijab.
Despite our high proportion of Muslim pupils, very few of them actually fast.

Teatimebear Wed 31-May-17 08:51:26

According to one of the kids in my class (who IMHO is too young but wants to do it) girls and boys in his sect are expected to do it at different ages - girls younger because they are "more grown up".

I actually need to check about permission, no one at school has mentioned anything about it! We have shifts of seating for lunch, so if fasting I guess they just won't come in when their food bell goes.

Acopyofacopy Wed 31-May-17 18:03:58

English comp with small Muslim intake here. During Ramadan fasting pupils can opt out of PE. That's the long and short of our fab inclusion policy hmm

BringOnTheScience Tue 06-Jun-17 23:21:39

I had a yr4 pupil fasting a few years ago and I wasn't told at all by their parents... until they got heat exhaustion during PE after lunch on a hot day. It was very scary. The parents were very apologetic that they hadn't thought to let me know. Pupil had packed lunch so we simply didn't know that he wasn't bringing anything.

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