Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a growing concern in schools.
FGM is carried out for a number of cultural, religious and social reasons. Whilst some families and communities believe that FGM will benefit the girl in some way, such as preparing them for marriage or childbirth, it is a harmful practice, that is not required by any religion and there are no health benefits. (NSPCC)
It is important to note that FGM is illegal and government office has procedures in place as a mandatory duty for staff in schools, to report FGM.
In dealing with FGM it is important to be alert to the following key indicators:
- A child’s family comes from a community that is known to practise FGM
- A child may talk about a long holiday to a country where the practice is prevalent
- A child may confide that she is to have a ‘special procedure’ or to attend a special occasion
- A child may request help from a teacher of another adult
If you are worried a child is at risk of or has already had FGM, call the NSPCC free, anonymous dedicated FGM helpline on 0800 028 3550 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Further information and guidance can be found here