The Department for Education (DfE) has urged schools to be vigilant in guarding against the dangers of female genital mutilation ahead of the summer holidays, known to be a particularly dangerous time for at-risk girls.

The department has sent out an email to all schools in England and Wales drawing attention to updated guidelines designed to keep girls safe before the start of the summer break, sometimes referred to as the "cutting season" for girls at risk of mutilation.

Michael Gove previously wrote to all headteachers advising them of the dangers of the practice, which involves the removal of a girl's outer sexual organs and can lead to lifelong trauma and physical complications, after a Guardian-backed campaign to raise awareness of the practice attracted more than 234,000 signatures on Change.org.

Read the complete original version of this item...