Welcome to the fifth edition of our e-newsletter, designed to keep you regularly informed of developments surrounding the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill.
We would appreciate your feedback on the e-newsletter and if there is anything you would like us to include or to clarify then please let us know by emailing ChildrenWalesBill@gov.wales
You can follow the Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services on Twitter on @wgdep_health
The purpose of the Bill is to help protect children's rights; it builds on the Welsh Government's commitment to children's rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Under the law, parents and other adults acting in a parental capacity will no longer be able to physically punish children in Wales. The Minister responsible for overseeing the passage of the legislation is Julie Morgan AM, Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services, Welsh Government.
Children Wales Bill Progress - The finishing line is in sight - Stages 3 and 4 completed!
Stage 3 of the legislative process was completed on 21 January. During Stage 3, 11 amendments were tabled which were considered and voted on by Assembly Members in a Senedd plenary session.
On 28 January 2020, a historic moment for Wales, the Senedd voted to pass the Children (Abolition of Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill. Assembly members passed the law with 36 votes for, 14 against.
Click here to read the full press release.
What happens next?
This Bill is currently at Post Stage 4.
The latest information on the National Assembly for Wales website reads:
"The Bill is now in the four-week period (28 January - 25 February 2020) during which, the Counsel General or the Attorney General may refer the question whether the Bill, or any provision of the Bill, would be within the Assembly's legislative competence to the Supreme Court for decision (section 112 of the Government of Wales Act).
Similarly, the Secretary of State for Wales may make an order prohibiting the Presiding Officer from submitting the Bill for Royal Assent."
If the Bill receives Royal Assent it will become an Act. The law will come into force two years from the day after Royal Assent. Two years secures sufficient time for partner organisations to be ready for the change in the law and for an awareness raising campaign to be implemented.
Strategic Implementation Group
We have set up a Strategic Implementation Group to consider how best to implement the Bill in the most practical and pragmatic way. In addition, five work-streams are considering the detailed work needed to implement the Bill.
The Parenting Expert Action Group (PEAG), made up of expert practitioners, academics and stakeholders, met for the second time on 23 January. The remit of the group is to determine and action the effective implementation of additional parenting support, if required, to ensure provision is available universally across Wales to support the Bill and beyond. At the meeting the PEAG agreed the workplan which includes the key tasks, ownership and timescales required to ensure the work is carried out by September 2021.
Engagement with stakeholders has continued with members of the Bill team attending and presenting at the Safeguarding in Education (SEG) meeting on 30 January in Newtown.
The Bill team is working alongside colleagues within Welsh Government to ensure information about the progress of the Bill reaches as wide an audience as possible. Please find below links to a selection of Welsh and UK based news outlet coverage following Stage 3 and 4.