This week’s Home Affairs Committee report ‘Female genital mutilation (FGM): the case for a national action plan’ includes a recommendation that PSHE education should be made compulsory, and that Ofsted should look into FGM during inspections.
Outlining the role of schools in addressing FGM, the report states that “schools potentially have an important dual role in tackling FGM – first by identifying potential or actual victims, and second by raising awareness about the practice among pupils.” We believe that this awareness raising is critically important, but, as the report notes, many teachers are not trained in how to respond to FGM, and there is no requirement for schools to teach about it as part of the curriculum.
Responding to the report, CEO Joe Hayman said:
“PSHE education can play a really important role in helping pupils to keep themselves and others safe, so we welcome the Committee’s support for making the subject compulsory. It is critically important that children are taught about FGM, and that the curriculum is strengthened on this matter.”
“Over the coming weeks, we will be writing to the Department for Education and Ofsted, as well as talking to the Home Office, about how we can ensure that no child misses out on this critical learning. We will also review our existing guidance and, if necessary, produce new guidance for our members on this complex issue. In the meantime, we have set up a section of our website which sets out our position and the support available to schools (www.pshe-association.org.uk/fgm).”
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