MSPs have voted in favour of introducing legislation making it a criminal offence to use physical punishment against a child.Read the full story ›
The Welsh Government says it wants to remove a legal ‘loophole’ which allows parents to physically punish their children.Read the full story ›
MSP John Finnie introduced the bill after gaining the backing of the Scottish Government and MSPs from across all the political parties.Read the full story ›
If implemented, the ban would make Wales the second area of the UK to end the physical punishment of children after the Scottish Government.Read the full story ›
Head of Child Protection Operations at the NSPCC, John Cameron, says children have a "greater likelihood" to be involved in criminal and anti-social behaviour if "they have been in receipt of smacking as a standard form of parenting".
Speaking with ITV News, Mr Cameron said smacking does not have a positive, long-term impact on children.
"This is not about prosecuting, persecuting and criminalising parents, but it's about giving a very strong message in our society that children should have the same rights as adults in law to be protected from physical assaults," he said.
Physical chastisement is physical abuse, the Children's Commissioner for England has said, urging smacking to be banned.
Maggie Atkinson told The Independent:
Personally, having been a teacher, and never having had an issue where I'd need to use physical punishment, I believe we should move to ban it.
Because in law you are forbidden from striking another adult, and from physically chastising your pets, but somehow there is a loophole around the fact that you can physically chastise your child.
Parents should be banned from smacking children, according to the Children's Commissioner for England.
Maggie Atkinson told The Independent it was her personal view that the law gives pets and adults more rights to be protected from violence than children, and she favours a total ban, which would see parents face criminal action for corporal punishment.
Current rules make it illegal for a parent to smack a child if it leaves a bruise but permit a lighter smack or ''reasonable chastisement''.
The NSPCC has issued a statement saying that 'there are better ways to discipline' children than sacking:
Whilst parents are currently allowed to smack their children, the evidence is continuing to build that it is ineffective and harmful to children. There are more positive and constructive ways to discipline children and a clear message that hitting anyone is not right would benefit all of society.
After Justice Minister Chris Grayling admitted he smacked his own children and said he believes that smacking "sends a message" to children, we asked you if you thought parents had the right to smack their children:
- Lisa Joanne Addison: "No it's wrong ... you don't have a right to hit another adult so what gives you the right to hit a child. It's assault and people should be prosecuted and accountable for their actions ... and yes I would interfere if I saw it in public and I have done so."
- Galina English: "Yes I think parents should be allowed to smack their own children...my parents smacked me and it never did me any harm..."
- Yvonne Armstrong: "Yep, it definitely never hurt me and I'm a better person and respect my elders."
- Carly Crispin: "As much as I would hate to smack my children I have to agree that children from our generation and before have respect, children now days do not, even my children struggle with the meaning of this word."
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has defended parents' right to smack their children and admitted he did it to his own, it has emerged.
The Tory cabinet minister said he was not opposed to smacking youngsters, claiming sometimes it "sends a message".
Mr Grayling has two children, aged 20 and 16, with his wife Susan and told the Mail on Sunday he occasionally smacked them when they were younger.
"You chastise children when they are bad, as my parents did me," he said. "I'm not opposed to smacking. It is to be used occasionally. Sometimes it sends a message - but I don't hanker for the days when children were severely beaten at school."
Sources close to the minister said tonight he used the punishment on an "occasional" basis and only when "really warranted".