Information on NAPLAN and Ramadan

NAPLAN testing dates are established well in advance of testing years, accommodating different term dates in all states and territories. See the NAP and NAPLAN key dates

Islamic special events and rituals are set by the lunar calendar (phases of the moon), so the dates for these special events change from year to year and may, at times, fall during NAPLAN.

Ramadan is a sacred month for the Muslim community. Members of the Muslim community may observe the period by fasting from food and drink between dawn and sunset, with a focus on devotion and spiritual contemplation. In 2019, Ramadan starts* on 6 May.

Eid al-Fitr, known as the “feast of fast-breaking", marks the end of the holy month of fasting and is celebrated by feasts and gift-giving among family and friends. In 2019, Eid ul-Fitr starts* on 5 June. 

After consultation with the Muslim community and the Islamic Schools Association of Australia, the following information and guidance are provided for schools, parents and carers in offering support to students observing special days in the Islamic calendar while undertaking NAPLAN. 

Information about Ramadan

During Ramadan, many families and students may be fasting as well as rising before dawn, and may be more tired than usual. Not all Muslim students fast during Ramadan, though their families may still be observing Ramadan, resulting in changes to regular household routines and disruptions to normal sleep cycles.

During Ramadan, Muslim students who are fasting abstain from all food and drink during daylight hours, breaking fast at sunset and then rising early in the morning to consume food and drink prior to the commencement of the day.

What support can schools, parents and carers provide for students who are observing Ramadan while undertaking NAPLAN?

To identify appropriate measures, parents and carers may wish to discuss with their child’s school any concerns regarding their child observing Ramadan and participating in NAPLAN. Schools with Muslim students can schedule NAPLAN tests first thing in the morning to ensure fasting students’ energy levels are at their highest. Test administration authorities are best placed to support schools that require further advice.

What happens if a student is absent from school on test days?

All students are encouraged to participate in NAPLAN tests. For individual students who are absent at the time of testing, schools will, where possible, organise to complete missed tests at another time during the school’s test schedule.

*Regional customs or moon sightings may cause a variation of the date for Islamic holidays, which begin at sundown of the day before the date specified for the holiday. The Islamic calendar is lunar and the days begin at sunset, so there may be a one day error, depending on when the new moon is first seen.