A STOURBRIDGE mum has hit out over school plans to teach primary aged children about female genital mutilation (FGM).

Grace Stockton said she was horrified to learn that her 10-year-old daughter was to be taught about FGM, also known as female genital cutting or circumcision, as part of her education at Greenfield Primary School in Hill Street.

FGM, described as the ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia for non-medical reasons, is a practice and tradition in some cultures but is illegal in the UK.

“I don’t want my daughter to learn about this at such a young age,” concerned mum Ms Stockton told the News.

She said she was initially told parents could not opt out pupils out of lessons and that it was part of the PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) curriculum.

She added: “My child is in year five, she is 10-years-old; I should have the right to say if my child is being told things like this.”

Greenfield headteacher Claire Stylianides said there had been an error in initial communications, when contacted by the News.

She added: “Parents were almost immediately informed that the lesson was not going ahead. Parents have also been informed of their right to withdraw.”

Ms Stockton, however, said she has been informed the lesson on FGM will be going ahead next year and that she will only be able to opt her daughter out of parts of the course.

She said: “I’m furious, there is no way I will allow my 10-year-old to hear the words female genital mutilation.

“This is not national curriculum, they are choosing to deliver this topic to primary aged children.”

She added: “I feel that in a city centre where children’s diversity is more widespread this would be better suited.

“However, in a small town where the majority of the children are white British and this is not part of their culture, FGM is an inappropriate and unnecessary subject.”

It’s understood there is no statutory requirement for primary schools to explicitly teach about FGM, although it is compulsory in secondary schools.

In a message sent to parents and carers, the school said it had been decided not to cover the content this academic year for pupils in years five and six and it added: “This is because, following up on discussions with some parents, we decided to review the content of this part of the PSHE curriculum, including when and how it is delivered.

“We want to make sure that we raise awareness of this important issue but in a sensitive, non-explicit and age-appropriate way.

“We would also like to give parents and carers an opportunity to fully understand the PSHE curriculum, why content is selected, and how pupils' knowledge is built over time.

“While the PSHE curriculum is statutory, we will explain where any elements go beyond the statutory parts and how parents can withdraw if they consider them inappropriate.

“There will be a right to withdraw from some specific content on FGM and a form is available for parents to complete and provide their reasons.

“However, in these cases, materials will be shared with parents ahead of time so that they are able to make an informed decision.”