HC Deb 28 July 1983 vol 46 c608W
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what action he proposes to ensure compliance with the 1982 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the case Campbell and Cosans v United Kingdom in relation to corporal punishment in schools; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Younger

The general aim in Scotland remains the elimination of corporal punishment in schools. My Department has today written to regional and island councils reiterating my view that the end of the school session 1983–84 is a reasonable target date by which education authorities should complete the process of elimination and reminding them that meantime they should ensure respect for the known philosophical convictions of parents with regard to corporal punishment.

I shall consult the Scottish Council of Independent Schools about the implications of the judgment for the assisted places scheme.

The opportunity has been taken to draw to the attention of education authorities and the Scottish Council of Independent Schools the need to ensure that where authorities place pupils in any independent or grant-aided schools, the managers of the school will guarantee respect for the philosophical convictions of the parents concerned as regards corporal punishment and as made known to the managers or to the education authority concerned.

Copies of Scottish Education Department circular No. 1100 have been placed in the Library.