It “may be appropriate” for schools to vary their SATs timetables in 2021 because the test week is set to coincide with the Muslim festival of Eid, the Department for Education has said.
The government has revealed today that key stage 2 SATs are timetabled from Monday May 10 to Thursday May 13 in 2021.
Eid is due to begin on May 12 that year, and the DfE said it understands that, “given the significance of Eid, Muslim pupils may be absent from school on Thursday May 13, the scheduled day of the final KS2 test”.
“Timetable variations may be appropriate for pupils who will be absent due to observing Eid,” DfE guidance says.
“Schools should read the timetable variation guidance, which will be updated for the 2020-21 academic year, before applying. Schools are advised to discuss arrangements for the tests with their pupils’ parents before the test period.”
It is not unusual for exam timetables to be changed in response to clashes with religious festivals.
Secondary school exams have coincided with the Muslim festival of Ramadan for the past three years, and are expected to again in 2019.
In previous years, the Joint Council for Qualifications has brought forward some tests in subjects taken by large numbers of pupils such as English, maths and science, so they do not coincide with Ramadan.
The DfE also announced the full timetable for key stage 2 SATs in 2019, and the week they are due to take place in 2020.