Female Genital Mutilation
All school staff must be alert to the possibility of a girl being at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), or already having suffered FGM. If staff members are worried about someone who is at risk of FGM or who has been a victim of FGM, they must share this information with social care or the police.
Victims of FGM are most likely to come from communities that are known to adopt this practice. It is important to note that the child may not yet be aware of the practice or that it may be conducted on them, so it is important for staff to be sensitive when approaching the subject.
If a member of school staff has a concern, they should activate local safeguarding procedures.
As of October 2015, Section 75 of the Serious Crime Act places a statutory duty upon teachers to report to the police any discovery, whether through disclosure by the victim or visual evidence, of FGM on a girl under 18. Teachers failing to report such cases will face disciplinary action.
Teachers will not examine pupils, and so it is rare that they will see any visual evidence, but they must report to the police where an act of FGM appears to have been carried out.