A programme teaching pupils about the dangers of female genital mutilation (FGM) has been rolled out in Manchester and Birmingham.

The free initiative, created by FGM specialist charity, FORWARD, started in London last May and is the first of its kind in UK schools.

Open to both primary and secondary schools, it teaches girls and boys as young as nine about the physical realities of FGM using age-appropriate teaching methods.

A total of 3,963 FGM cases in the UK have been identified since data began to be collected in September 2014, according to the latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre. Sixty of the cases were girls under 18.

Vanessa Diakides, who runs the programme, says: “It is essential to teach people about FGM from such a young age because it is primary school children who are most at risk. They need to know about the support available to help them and to know what to do if they are concerned about their own health or the health of someone they care about.”

The scheme will be expanded to other cities in the future.

Visit FORWARD or email vanessa@forwarduk.org.uk to book a session


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