Children (Equal Protection From Assault) (Scotland) Bill implementation group minutes: October 2020

Minutes from the October 2020 meeting of the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) (Scotland) Bill implementation group.

Attendees and apologies


  • Clare Armes, NHS Lothian
  • Steven Dehn, Office of John Finnie MSP
  •  Maria Gray, Scottish Government
  • Christopher Johnson, Scottish Government
  • Sarah Meanley, Scottish Government
  • Wendy Mitchell, Scottish Government
  • Chloe Riddell, Children 1st
  • Charles Rocks, Social Work Scotland
  • Christopher Russell, Scottish Government
  • Clare Simpson, Children in Scotland
  • Simon Stockwell, Scottish Government (chair)
  • Rachael Vassallo-Watson, Scottish Government
  • Rachel Watson, Scottish Government
  • Carolyn Wilson, Scottish Government
  • Wendy Wilson, Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service


  • Umar Ansari, One Parent Families Scotland
  •  James Cox, Scottish Government
  •  Jack Dudgeon MSYP
  •  Megan Farr, Children and Young People’s Commissioner
  •  Alistair Hogg, Scottish Children’s Reporter Association
  •  Matthew Sweeney, Convention of Scottish Local Authorities

Items and actions


The chair introduced colleagues from within the Scottish Government (SG) who were attending the meeting on a one-off basis.

Use of Teams platform

The group was content on how to use the platform.

Information on the Act and related subjects for the public, including:

  • Stage 2 of the positive parenting marketing campaign: The Scottish Government’s marketing team provided an update on the positive parenting campaign on ParentClub and that website’s social media channels. The group suggested that more detailed information about the Act should be included on the ParentClub website, with clear links between what the Act does and where parents and carers can find support. Action for SG: to consider how to add further information about the Act on this website
  • Q&As, factsheets, posters produced by SG: The Implementation Group suggested that SG could consider further what additional use could be made of this promotional material.
  • Communications generally, including in the run-up to 7 November: The Scottish Government’s Communications team outlined the Scottish Government’s communications strategy in the lead-up to the Act coming fully into force on 7 November 2020. The group agreed that taking a joined-up approach to communications in the run up to that date would be beneficial.

Information on the Act for organisations

  • For statutory bodies: The Scottish Government noted that it is working with stakeholders to develop information about the Act which will support implementation across a number of sectors, including health, education and social work. It was noted there was a need for clarity on what expectations are for delivery bodies like health. The Scottish Government explained that the finalised guidance would be published on its website

Updates from group members

  • The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service explained that Lord Advocate’s Guidelines for the Chief Constable had been prepared and that guidance was also in place for prosecutors.
  • Police Scotland explained that a training package for officers had been rolled out and that Police Scotland were in a good state of readiness for 7 November
  • SCRA had provided a written note in advance, which was passed on to the group: “We have reminded all Reporters of the implementation date of the change in law and we have updated our Practice Direction to reflect the change. We will issue one further reminder to our staff on Mon 9th Nov, the first working day after implementation.”


The chair asked the group for views on continuing the work of the implementation group after 7 November. Police Scotland said there would be benefits in continuing to meet: this was agreed.

Action for SG: to set up next meeting.

Scottish Government

January 2021

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