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Derby takes a lead on preventing forced marriage

8 April 2014

Derby College has hit the headlines this week for launching a programme to tackle forced marriage. Whilst many pupils will be excited about the prospect of the summer holidays being only a few months, for others, the six week period is fraught with risk.

It is right to expect schools to take a proactive approach to prevent FM; it is difficult to see how else young girls can receive information and guidance about this form of abuse. Though the Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) was established back in 2005, the government has pushed the issue to the forefront of the safeguarding agenda with recent campaigns and updated guidance.

Derby’s programme includes training people to recognise and deal with the issue, publicising helplines and holding awareness sessions for students. For schools with high numbers of pupils from ethnic backgrounds where FM is most prevalent, these initiatives could help protect young girls from such a desperate plight.

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