Female genital mutilation (FGM): staff factsheet

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Female genital mutilation (FGM) is a form of child abuse with long-lasting, harmful consequences, and is illegal in the UK.
The child's family often believes the practice is beneficial and in a girl's best interests – this can limit a girl’s motivation to raise concerns or talk openly about it. Teachers have a statutory duty to report known cases of FGM, so it's important they know about this issue and are aware of this duty.
Use this factsheet to make sure your staff know:
  • What FGM is
  • About their duty to report it
  • Signs to look out for that a girl is at risk of FGM or that it may have happened
  • What to do if they have concerns or if they become aware of a case

Want to make it more interactive? Here are some questions you can use to to start a discussion about FGM with staff:

  • What prejudices or preconceptions may we have to overcome to ensure that we are more likely to identify and act on concerns or instances of FGM, and to support pupils who have been victims of FGM? (For example, might people be concerned about looking racist if they report, or conversely see FGM as part of a culture and not something for them to get involved in?)
  • What are the wider school and community factors that we can positively influence that could mitigate against the risk of FGM? (For example, making children aware of FGM in an age-appropriate way)
  • What challenges might you face in discussing topics such as this with young people?
  • What worries or concerns would you have in relation to discussing or reporting FGM? What support would you like in relation to this?
  • If you reported your concerns about FGM and were not confident of the action taken, what would you do next?

Next ...

... follow up by testing your staff's knowledge with our safeguarding scenarios on FGM.

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