Ramadan - Fasting and Physical Education

27 Feb 2024

Our policy at Barking Abbey School fully recognises that fasting during the month of Ramadan is the fourth Pillar of Islam; an act of worship of great spiritual, moral and social significance for Muslims. This policy guidance has been devised with reference to the following two publications: Towards Greater Understanding – Meeting the needs of Muslim pupils in state schools, Information & Guidance for Schools. The Muslim Council of Britain (www.mcb.org.uk) Safe Practice in Physical Education, Sport & Physical Activity. Association for Physical Education (www.afpe.org.uk) It has also been written in collaboration with parent representatives of Muslim students at Barking Abbey School.

During Ramadan, all students will be expected to still take part in Physical Education, for the following three key reasons:

1) Muslims are encouraged not to use Ramadan as an opportunity to avoid aspects of normal life but rather to cope with normal life under a different set of guidelines;

2) All children have an entitlement to access a meaningful PE programme that meets the requirements of the National Curriculum while seeking to respect any religious or cultural sensitivities involved wherever possible;

3) The Muslim Council of Britain states that “the majority of pupils who are fasting are able to take part in most physical activities during Ramadan without putting themselves at risk or danger.”

PE department staff appreciate that during fasting, normal energy resources may become depleted, and the risk of dehydration is increased. As a result:

 - PE staff will be aware that intensity levels in activities may need to be lowered to a point where fasting students may continue to participate safely, and will remain responsive to students’ needs during Ramadan.

- PE staff and parents should encourage students who are fasting to speak to their PE teacher as soon as possible if they feel that the intensity level in their lesson needs reducing.

- Parents of fasting pupils are encouraged to speak to their child’s PE teacher, or the Head of Physical Education, at the earliest opportunity if they have any concerns regarding fasting and Physical Education at Barking Abbey School.