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Schools: Corporal Punishment

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether legislation has been introduced since 1 February 2005 to prohibit corporal punishment in (a) state and private schools in (i) Anguilla, (ii) Bermuda, (iii) British Virgin Islands, (iv) Cayman Islands, (v) Gibraltar, (vi) Montserrat and (vii) Turks and Caicos Islands, (b) penal institutions for young offenders under 18 years in (A) Gibraltar and (B) Montserrat, (c) alternative care settings in (1) Anguilla, (2) Bermuda, (3) British Virgin Islands, (4) Cayman Islands, (5) Falkland Islands, (6) Gibraltar, (7) Montserrat, (8) St. Helena and (9) Turks and Caicos Islands. (138604)

There has been no legislation introduced since 1 February 2005 to prohibit corporal punishment in state schools and private schools, penal institutions for young offenders under 18 years and alternative care settings in the overseas territories listed in the hon. Member’s question. The position on corporal punishment is as follows:

Anguilla:

Under the Education Act corporal punishment is only allowed in schools under controlled conditions.

Bermuda:

Under the Education Rules corporal punishment in schools is allowed under defined conditions. However, in practice, schools are moving towards using positive reinforcement for good behaviour. Corporal punishment may not be carried out on any child in care, whether in a children’s home or foster care.

British Virgin Islands:

Corporal punishment can be carried out in schools, by the principal, deputy principal or by one senior teacher appointed in writing. Corporal punishment of children is not allowed in other institutions or forms of care. On 16 April 2005, the British Virgin Islands enacted the Children and Young Persons Act which, among other things, made it unlawful to abuse or ill treat a child.

Cayman Islands:

Corporal punishment is allowed by law in all public and private schools only where no other punishment is considered suitable or effective by the principal, and may be administered by the principal or any teacher appointed in writing by the principal for that purpose.

Falkland Islands:

Corporal punishment is prohibited by law in public sector schools. There is no prohibition on corporal punishment in other forms of care, or by carers. However, administratively, the Falkland Islands Government forbids corporal punishment of children in the forms of care it operates.

Gibraltar:

In both public and private educational establishments, and other institutions which care for children and young people, corporal punishment is not permitted. Corporal punishment is not administered in prison.

Montserrat:

Under the Education Act, corporal punishment can be administered in schools but subject to strict guidelines and it should only be administered by the principal or a teacher designated by the principal for that purpose. Corporal punishment is not permitted for young offenders and is not administered in prison.

St. Helena:

While no new law has been introduced, it is not practice to allow corporal punishment of children in alternate settings or forms of care.

Turks and Caicos Islands:

While existing law allows for corporal punishment in schools, in practice it is prohibited in both private and public schools and in all institutions dealing with children and adolescents.