Female Genital Mutilation
The action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harms such as FGM is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play Safeguarding guidelines detail information on identifying and responding to Female Genital Mutilation. FGM is a procedure carried out on young girls and women.
It is illegal in the UK, a form of child abuse and violence against women with long-lasting harmful consequences. It is illegal for anyone to perform FGM in the UK or to arrange for a child to be transported to another country for the procedure. Therefore it is a serious child protection issue and carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
We have a statutory duty to report:
‘Section 5B of the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 (as inserted by section 74 of the Serious Crime Act 2015) places a statutory duty upon teachers along with regulated health and social care professionals in England and Wales, to report to the police where they discover (either through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence) that FGM appears to have been carried out on a girl under 18.’
The duty came into force on 31st October 2015.
All schools have a responsibility not only to report but educate. From September 2020, Relationships and Health Education has been compulsory for all Primary pupils. Effective education within PSHE can help give pupils knowledge, understanding and can help pupils keep themselves safe from harm through building confidence to ask for help.
There is lots of information and support available online for parents/carers concerned about this subject or if you know someone who is at risk:
•Contact the Police if you think that a girl or young woman is in danger of FGM and is still in the UK.
•Contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (020 7008 1500) if she’s already been taken abroad.
The NSPCC has detailed advice on how to spot the signs, symptoms and effects of FGM and provides support for people who are concerned about a child or who have been affected themselves.
Click on the boxes below for more information.