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How teachers should start to address FGM in schools
On Tuesday, the prime minister came to our school, Walworth academy in south London, to announce that teachers and other public servants like me will have a new duty to tackle female genital mutilation. Some will see this as another example of schools acting as surrogate parents, but I believe that as educators, we have a moral obligation to act. Our students should be fully aware of the risks of FGM and our parents need to be in no doubt about the stance of our school. To paraphrase RH Tawney, what a parent would want for their daughter, the state should want for all our daughters.
Tuesday's Girl Summit on FGM and forced marriage was impressive, not just for the calibre of politicians and NGOs who were present. What really struck me was the testimony of those who had survived the barbaric practice of FGM and told us their story. I want to use their experience to transform the way we approach the issue in our schools.
There are huge pressures on teachers but I believe this is something which all of us – particularly in communities that are most at risk – have a duty to tackle. It would be easy to ignore the signs and think it is someone else's responsibility.
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