Female genital mutilation (FGM): staff factsheet

Types of abuse
Sexual Abuse
Emotional Abuse
"Honour"-based Abuse
Physical Abuse

Share our factsheet with staff so they know what FGM is and what signs to look out for in a child. Make sure they also understand the reporting duty for teachers and know what they should do if they think a child is or could be at risk, or find out that FGM has taken place.

Last reviewed on 20 July 2023
Ref: 29

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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 child's best interests – this can limit a child’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 child 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 your staff:

  • What prejudices or preconceptions might we have around FGM? How can we make it more likely that we'll identify and act on concerns or instances of FGM, and support pupils who have been victims of FGM? (For example, could people be concerned about appearing racist if they report a concern, or see FGM as part of a culture or religion and not something for them to get involved in?)
  • What wider school and community factors can we positively influence that might lower the risk of FGM? (For example, making pupils aware of FGM in an age-appropriate way?)
  • What challenges might we face in discussing topics such as this with our pupils?
  • 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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A teacher and two students in a classroom.