Female genital mutilation (FGM)
FGM is considered as child abuse in the UK and carries up to 14 years imprisonment under the 2003 FGM Act.
From 31 October 2015, social workers, health professionals and teachers are under a new mandatory duty to report to the police any known cases of FGM, when a disclosure has been made or there is visual confirmation for all under 18s.
- Instructions for professionals reporting FGM (pdf) November 2015
- FGM - mandatory reporting flow chart (pdf) November 2015
- FGM - practical guidance for Ealing schools (pdf) *To be updated
*The FGM practical guidance document will be updated shortly. In the meantime it is advisable that you:
- Keep a record of how you advised all staff of their responsibilities
- Keep a record to show each member of teaching staff knows and understands their professional responsibility i.e. to sign a declaration that they have read and understood the mandatory duty to report known cases of FGM.
DfE procedural guidance on mandatory FGM reporting
To protect children and ensure that staff and school follow the correct process then the duty should be made known to all staff and governors. The DfE have issued the attached document that succinctly clarifies the key issues raised in implementing the duty.
These documents are available on GOV.UK website.
- Mandatory reporting of female genital mutilation: procedural information
- Multi-agency statutory guidance on female genital mutilation April 2016
It should be shared with staff . The designated lead child protection teacher may want to brief staff on the contents. The guidance document covers:
- What is the definition of “ known,”
- To whom does the duty apply
- Who do they contact
- Contact with parents
- Timeframes and recording
- Responding to suspicion of FGM
- Consequences of failing to meet the duty to report.
Reporting concerns or suspicion of FGM
FGM is a criminal offence: any concern, uncertainty, suspicion or evidence should be discussed with social care i.e. the Ealing Children’s Integrated Response Service (ECIRS): Tel: 020 8825 8000 option 2.
You can also discuss whether a referral should be made with a local child protection adviser:
Child protection adviser
Tel: 020 8825 8930
If there is concern that the child is in immediate danger, the police should be contacted without delay by telephoning 999.
You can also contact Police Project Azure (department dealing with FGM)
Tel: 020 7161 2888
Ealing and national resources
The Ealing FGM partnership group, with funding from Ealing small grants, have developed a leaflet and poster to raise awareness about FGM, what it is, why it is practised, the health implications, the law and where to go for information and advice. Hard copies are also available at the Acton African Well Women’s Clinic.
The Home Office have also developed an FGM passport to raise awareness about the law.
This is also available on their Home Office website in different languages.
The Department for Education (DfE) have issued an updated version of their statutory guidance Keeping children safe in education 2016 (GOV.UK), in which FGM is highlighted as a safeguarding issue, to take effect from Monday 5 September 2016.
Government multi-agency guidance on FGM (links to Home Office website)
Note pages 11, 12, 37 and 38.
NSPCC Underwear Rule resources - to support teachers and practitioners to deliver the same ‘stay safe’ messages to children:
Teacher guidance (pdf) – how to use the resources when teaching children the underwear rule, template letter to parents and what to do if you suspect abuse.
Lessons plans (pdf) – everything you need for an hour-long lesson to teach children about the underwear rule and help to keep them safe.
PANTS presentation (pdf) – use the presentation to teach the underwear rule in a visually memorable way.
Primary schools resources
St Werburgh FGM lesson plan (pdf)
Primary school case study on whole school approach (pdf)
Key stage 3 lesson plan (which can be adapted for Year 6) (pdf)
FHS FGM presentation - guidance launch (pdf)
FHS staff INSET what is FGM? (pdf)
FHS FGM boys presentation (pdf)
FHS FGM grils presentation (pdf)
FHS FGM resources (pdf)
The Ealing health improvement team can provide curriculum support
Contact: Claire Meade, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Training for professionals
The team also works in partnership with the Ealing Safeguarding Children’s Board and the Acton African Well Woman Clinic to provide staff training and facilitate discussions with parents.
They can also provide whole school staff training. Please contact Claire Meade for further details.
Specialist information contact
Juliet Albert, specialist FM midwife, email email@example.com
Ealing Children’s Integrated Response Service (ECRIS)
Tel: 020 8825 8000 option 2.
Acton African Well Woman Clinic
Address: 35-61 Church Road, Acton, W3 8QE
Contact days and times: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Contact person: Juliet Albert
Tel: 020 8383 8761
NSPCC FGM Helpline
Contact days and times: 24 hours
Tel: 0800 028 3550
FORWARD (Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development)
A leading national organisation working on FGM
Tel: 020 8960 4000