Muslim pupils banned from fasting during Ramadan

Muslim pupils at four London primary schools have been banned from fasting during Ramadan due to fears about their welfare.


The Lion Academy Trust, which runs the schools, notified parents of the move in a letter sent out this week.

The controversial move, set to affect pupils at the trust’s four London schools, has been criticised by the Muslim Association of Britain.

Aaron Wright, the acting headteacher of Barclay Primary School in Leyton, wrote in the letter to parents: “We are reliably informed that in Islamic Law, children are not required to fast during Ramadan, only being required to do so when they become adults.

“Previously, we have had a number of children who became ill and children who have fainted or been unable to fully access the school curriculum in their attempts to fast.”

The letter continued: “Therefore, since the school policy and Islamic law have the same purpose i.e to safeguard the health and education of the child, the policy of both Barclay Primary School and all schools within the Lion Academy Trust does not allow any children attending the schools to fast.”

It added: “Fasting has a significant impact on younger children hence why it is only for adults.”

The other schools affected by the policy are Sybourn Primary School in Waltham Forest; Thomas Gamuel Primary School in Walthamstow; and Brook House Primary School in Tottenham.

A spokesman for the Muslim Association of Britain told the Mail: “We believe that there are sufficient and stringent rules within Islam which allow those who are unable to fast, to break fast.

“These rules include those who are medically ill or compromised; or too young or too old to fast.

“However, we believe that this determination should be decided by parents with their children; who can together reach a collective decision whether or not the child can fast.

“MAB ascertains that the final choice of whether or not to fast should be the right of the parents, who should in turn encourage their children to fast without forcing them to do so.”

Muslims with health problems or those under certain ages are not obliged to fast during the religious festival, which will begin on June 18.