Education secretary defends adding FGM to curriculum in sex-ed shake-up

Damian Hinds

Monday, February 25, 2019

Damian Hinds has defended a decision to add FGM to the curriculum, and revealed it has been 19 years since sex education guidance was last updated.

From 2020, secondary school pupils will be taught about female genital mutilation (FGM), from awareness of the practice to where to find support networks.

In a heated discussion about the new guidelines with the education secretary, talkRADIO host Julia Hartley-Brewer said she felt "very uncomfortable" at the idea of her daughter learning about FGM.

 

 

"Can you tell me the age appropriate way for my daughter to be told how we have imported the barbaric, medieval practice of cutting off girls' clitorises and sewing their vaginas shut, so their future husbands know they are marrying a virgin?," she asked.

"What is the age appropriate way for my 12-year-old to learn about that?".

Defending the move, Hinds said: "We are doing this because it is important for us to understand as a country that this can be eradicated, that this generation as it grows up knows about these issues and can work to stamp them out.

 

'The world has changed a lot in 19 years'

Schoolchildren as young as four will be taught about relationships, keeping safe on the internet and looking after their mental health. Image: PA

"Obviously there is enforcement and the criminal law, but there's also making sure that everybody learns that this is clearly not an acceptable part of a culture in modern Britain."

Alongside FGM being added to the curriculum, schoolchildren will also be taught about relationships, keeping safe on the internet and looking after their mental health.

"A lot of this is covered by schools already, but it has been 19 years since the last time we updated the guidance on sex education, and God knows the world has changed a lot in those 19 years," Hinds added.