The campaign to persuade the education secretary, Michael Gove, to help end female genital mutilation by telling headteachers in England to educate parents and children about the practice has gathered more than 200,000 signatures in eight days.
The Change.org website says a petition on the issue, backed by the Guardian, is one of the fastest growing it has seen in Britain. Thirty-three MPs have so far supported the campaign via an early-day motion in the House of Commons. The Scottish government has already promised to write to heads.
Gove has agreed to meet the campaign leader, the 17-year-old student Fahma Mohamed, a Bristol teenager from a Muslim Somali family, who wants the issue to be flagged up in schools before this summer's "cutting season". Although many girls are being taken abroad to be cut, others are being mutilated in Britain, according to campaigners.