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Ending Physical Punishment in Wales

We’ve been asked as a school to make parents aware of the change in the law which starts today. From today, physically punishing children in Wales is illegal. The Welsh Government have made this law change to protect children and their rights, and to help give them the best start in life.

The Ending Physical Punishment campaign aims to raise awareness of the change in law, and the Welshj Government are also promoting Parenting. Give it time which provides alternatives to physical punishment through positive parenting.

There are lots of types of physical punishment. It can mean smacking, hitting, slapping and shaking. But there are other types too. It isn’t possible to give a set list of what makes up physical punishment because it can be anything where a child is punished using physical force. Research suggests physical punishment could be harmful to children. It means that all physical punishment is illegal in Wales. It gives children the same protection from assault as adults. It makes the law clearer – easier for children, parents, professionals and the public to understand. The law applies to everyone – parents or anyone who is responsible for a child while the parents are absent. Physical punishment has been illegal in schools, children’s homes, local authority foster care homes and childcare settings for some time.

Anyone who physically punishes a child will be breaking the law, risks being arrested or charged with assault and may get a criminal record which is the same for any criminal offence. If you see a child being physically punished or if you are concerned about a child you should contact your local social services department. You can also call the police in an emergency or if a child is in immediate danger.
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