Ed Sec rejects Children’s Commissioner call for English smacking ban

Simon Calvert, spokesman for the Be Reasonable campaign, said:

“Parents across England will welcome the Education Secretary’s common sense response to calls to criminalise a mild smack on the bum.

“The Children’s Commissioner says she wants to see how the ban works out in Wales. But we’ve seen enough already to know that criminalising parents for tapping a tot on the back of the legs is a terrible idea.

“Despite denying for years that the ban would criminalise parents, the Welsh Government has issued guidance making clear that parents who use even the mildest physical discipline ‘could be charged with common assault’ and ‘may get a criminal record’. This is outrageous. You may not agree with smacking but would you criminalise parents who do?

“The official guidance also tells those who work with children to ‘contact your local social services’ or ‘call the police’ if they see a parent smack their child. This will waste precious child-protection resources. Accused parents who not prosecuted may still have their details recorded on State databases. Doctors and nurses who are suspected of smacking, face suspension or the sack.

“According to the Welsh Government’s own figures, only 38% of the public support the ban. This figure is down on the previous year, confirming that the more people hear about the ban, the less they like it.”

“Westminster needs to stick to its guns and not be manipulated into criminalising decent parents.”