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What’s the law on physical punishment in Wales?

Does the new law apply to everybody in Wales?

Yes, it applies to everyone - parents or anyone who is responsible for a child while the parent is absent.

And as with other laws, it applies to visitors to Wales too.

Physical punishment has been illegal in schools, children’s homes, local authority foster care homes and
childcare settings for some time.

What happens if people physically punish a child?

Anyone who physically punishes a child:

  • will be breaking the law
  • risks being arrested or charged with assault
  • may get a criminal record which is the same for any criminal offence

Information, advice and support is available for anyone who needs it, to help them find positive ways to
manage children’s behaviour and to help avoid such a situation ever happening.

What should I do if I see a child being physically punished or if I am concerned about a child?

  • Contact your local social services department.
  • You can also call the police in an emergency or if a child is in immediate danger.