Two school  nurses are to share their experience of tackling female genital mutilation and establishing a sexual health service, at an international conference in America.

Oxfordshire school nurse area team leaders Vicky Kirby and Claire Webster (pictured) are to present at the 19th Biennial School Nurses International Conference in San Francisco, California, next week.

The event is an opportunity for nurses throughout the word to share examples of best practice and inspire one another to improve services offered to young people.

Vicky said: “The opportunity of applying the principles of the work we currently do to an international community really challenges us. It makes us consider what is relevant about our role and what other countries, with very different health provision, can learn from us.

“I am going to be talking about how we have trained our nurses to deliver a safe and responsible sexual health service, and how it contributes to the teenage pregnancy strategy in lowering pregnancy rates in under 18 year olds.”

Claire said: “Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is child abuse and the practice is illegal in the UK therefore it is vital that we, as school health nurses, have knowledge and understanding of the issues in order to respond appropriately and act within our legal frameworks.

“It’s been really important to work with colleagues to improve education and awareness within school nursing, enabling our service to protect and educate young girls at risk due to their country of origin.

“My presentation will include best practice examples and discussion about what more we can do.”