Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and child & early and forced marriage (CEFM) are forms of gender based violence and are illegal in the UK.

However, it is estimated that 23,000 girls under 15 could be at risk of FGM in the UK, and that FGM is most commonly carried out when a girl is aged between 5 and 8. CEFM is a form of abuse and forcing someone to marry in the UK could result in a prison sentence of up to 7 years. In 2014 the Home Office Forced Marriage Unit provided support to 1,267 cases – where the age was known 11% of those supported were under 16.

We believe school staff in the UK could play a key role in the eradication of FGM and CEFM, prevent cases from happening, and providing support to victims.

We've conducted a research report which found that school staff, safeguarding boards and young people, believe more should be done to improve the training for teachers on FGM and CEFM;

  • 94% of young people surveyed said that they did not feel school staff had enough information about FGM and CEFM
  • 71% of members of safeguarding boards surveyed said that safeguarding training in schools is not adequate to address FGM or CEFM
  • 72% of school staff surveyed think lack of training on FGM and CEFM is a problem
  • 1 in 5 young people surveyed said that they would not report concerns about FGM or CEFM at school
  • 82% of students and staff surveyed said they think Justine Greening MP should do a review into adequacy of FGM and CEFM training for school staff

It’s for this reason that Youth For Change has decided to campaign to improve the school system in the UK to make it a more effective institution to report and address FGM and CEFM. Our aspiration is for CEFM & FGM to be embedded more clearly in mandatory safeguarding training.

Join us in calling for the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening MP, to conduct a review into the current CEFM & FGM training provisions for school staff with the aim of improving the protection of young people from such harmful practices.

Support the campaign on Twitter:

Tweet at @YouthForChange about why YOU think we need better safeguarding training on FGM and CEFM in UK schools!