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FGM – what are schools doing?

7 February 2014

From April NHS hospitals will be asked to log details of female genital mutilation (FGM) cases they see and from September will be required to make monthly reports to the Department of Health. However, hospitals are not the only front line in the fight against FGM.

FGM is classed as a form of child abuse and needs to be treated as a serious child protection issue by schools. Ofsted now include it as part of their safeguarding inspection framework.

As FGM becomes an increasing concern in the UK education system, will similar reporting requirements be placed on schools? Schools need to know the signs of FGM and help identify those at risk, having safeguarding policies and procedures is of course essential but it isn’t enough. There is evidence that many school communities need educating about FGM. Dialogue with the local community is essential for schools to help them understand and deal with this safeguarding issue on a broader scale.

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