As a first country in the UK Scotland has made it a crime for parents to smack their children. The new regulation will grant the children the same protection from assault as adults.
Smacking in England is illegal, excluding cases where it is used as “reasonable punishment”. Parents face possible criminal charges if they hit a child hard enough to leave a mark, bruising, swelling, cuts, scratches or a black eye. It is illegal for teachers and care workers to smack a child, although parents may give permission for reasonable punishments to privately-hired nannies or babysitters.
Wales is considering similar regulation against smacking, but there are currently no such plans in England.