Information for adults

What is changing

If a parent or carer physically punishes or disciplines their child they can be prosecuted with assault.  Under the current law, depending on what happened, the defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ may be available to them.

Physical punishment or physical discipline can take many forms, including  smacking, skelping, spanking and slapping.

The Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Act 2019 will change the law and remove the “reasonable chastisement” defence from 7 November 2020.

This means that all forms of physical punishment of children will be against the law in Scotland, and children will have with the same legal protection from assault as adults.

The Act does not introduce a new offence. It just removes a defence to the existing offence of assault.

We know sometimes being a parent is diffcult that’s why we’ve put together some advice and tips for keeping calm when
things get challenging. You can find these, and other helpful hints, on the ParentClub website or find some tips on the you tube videos attached.