Ofsted to quiz heads on efforts to stop female genital mutilation
School inspectors are to question headteachers on their efforts to combat female genital mutilation (FGM), as part of a government attempt to ensure public bodies live up to their responsibilities to protect children from the practice.
Ofsted officials will demand proof that schools have "safeguarding policies" which deal with FGM, including training their staff to identify "at risk" pupils and inform the police if they believe girls are in danger of being taken abroad to undergo the agonising procedure.
Proposals to introduce a specific question on FGM into the standard school inspection procedure were agreed at the Home Office last week, during a "round-table" debate about ways of stamping out the practice. The debate took place amid growing fears that thousands of British schoolgirls are taken back to their parents' home countries every year to be forcibly mutilated.
Prosecutors fear the fight against FGM is being hindered by the failure of many public authorities to maintain data on the practice, or to devise policies to identify and tackle it.
An IoS survey last week revealed that barely 50 out of more than 500 UK councils, hospitals and police forces could produce figures on the incidence of girls or women found to have suffered FGM, or deemed to be at risk of it.
An action plan spearheaded by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, has set out the demand for the collection of "more robust data on allegations of FGM, so the scale of the problem can be gauged".
The Conservative MP Jane Ellison, chair of the all-party FGM group, said Ofsted inspections were a perfect opportunity to ensure schools were meeting their responsibilities.
"Ofsted are already training their own inspectors on FGM. Asking a specific question on the subject during their inspections will ensure that everyone is doing what is expected of them," she said.
"There is nothing that concentrates a school's mind more than the thought that a negative comment on any issue might appear in their inspection report."
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently have an opportunit...
£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently have an opportunit...
£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join ...
£190 - £200 per day: Ashdown Group: Payroll & Finance Manager - Covent Garden,...