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Female Genital Mutilation: Schools to give compulsory lessons on horrors of FGM; The classes will be mandatory in secondary schools from September 2020.

Byline: Nigel Nelson

All secondary school children are to get compulsory lessons in the horrors of female genital mutilation.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds says it is now essential to raise awareness and ensure children know FGM is against the law.

Tomorrow he will announce that as part of a major shake-up of relationship and sex education in the nation's schools.

From September next year relationship classes will be mandatory in primary schools, sex education will be added in secondaries and classes on staying healthy for all pupils.

Kids will also learn about other forms of abuse including grooming, forced marriage and domestic violence.

Mr Hinds said: "FGM can have catastrophic effects causing life-long physical and psychological damage.

"Just as important as legislation and enforcement is awareness and challenging assumptions.

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"Which is why we are making sure all pupils are given the facts at secondary school."

Nimco Ali of FGM charity Daughters of Eve added: "Education is the key to ending FGM.

"We need to empower young people with the knowledge not only to know what is right and wrong but the rights they have to be safe."

The NSPCC says 137,000 women and girls are affected by FGM in England and Wales.

And since 2015 296 FGM protection orders have been issued to stop girls being taken abroad to be cut.

FGM has been illegal in England, Wales and Northern Ireland since 2003.

And earlier this month the mother of a three-year-old East London girl became the first person to be convicted in the UK of unlawful FGM.

Mr Hinds has set aside [pounds sterling]6million to train teachers in handling FGM classes, and some schools will run pilot projects from September this year.

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Credit: Getty Images/EyeEm

"FGM can have catastrophic effects causing life-long physical and psychological damage"

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nimco Ali of FGM charity Daughters of Eve added: "Education is the key to ending FGM" (both photos in this article are posed by models)

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Title Annotation:News,Politics
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 24, 2019
Words:360
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