Children (Equal Protection From Assault) (Scotland) Bill implementation group minutes: January 2019

Minutes from the second meeting of the group set up to consider actions if proposed changes to the law on physical punishment are agreed by Parliament.

Attendees and apologies


Simon Stockwell (chair), Sarah Meanley, Maria Gray, Rebekah Sheriff, Kim Wallace, Andrea Kinver, Rachael Vasallo-Watson (Scottish Government); Clare Simpson (Parenting Across Scotland); Angela Latta (Social Work Scotland), Matthew Sweeney (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities), Umar Ansari (One Parent Families Scotland), Mark Ballard (Children 1st), Jack Dudgeon (Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament), Malcolm Schaffer (Scottish Children’s Reporters Administration)


Superintendent David Pettigrew (Police Scotland); Megan Farr and Máire McCormack (Children and Young Persons’ Commissioner Scotland), Jamie Lipton Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service), Clare Armes (NHS Scotland)


Items and actions


1. Those present at the meeting introduced themselves and welcomed the new members: Umar Ansari, Mark Ballard, Jack Dudgeon and Matthew Sweeney.

Minutes of the first meeting

2. The group agreed to the publication of the minutes of the first meeting.

Update on Bill

3. The chair updated the group on the Bill, including information about Stage 1 evidence and timings.

Forthcoming Scottish Government marketing campaign on physical punishment of children

4. The group discussed what any potential future Scottish Government marketing campaign on the physical punishment of children could contain.

Potential guidance for social work and other agencies and public facing information on the proposed changes to the law

5. The group discussed the implications of the Bill should it be enacted. Points raised included:
  • the need to consider the possible impact on more vulnerable groups
  • clarity on the law would be required at all levels
  • the need to link to other guidance where relevant such as, for example, child protection guidance. It was noted that this was currently being reviewed
  • the need to take into account children’s voices and views

Date of next meeting

6. The Scottish Government would organise the next meeting and advise members accordingly.
Family Law Team
Scottish Government
May 2019
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