Saturday, July 3, 1999 Published at 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
Heads fight caning ban
The schools argue that the ban infringes their rights
Headteachers from up to 40 Christian independent schools are preparing a legal challenge to the government's ban on corporal punishment.
They argue that it is an infringement of religious and parental rights.
The headteacher of the independent Christian Fellowship School in Liverpool, Phil Williamson, believes that corporal punishment helps teach children the difference between right and wrong.
'Moderate and sensible'
He is leading a challenge to the new law in the European Court and is hoping to eventually overturn it
"If parents want their children disciplined in a moderate and reasonable way in a school community setting, then the government has no right to interfere with that," said Mr Williamson.
But almost every childcare organisation in the UK supports the outlawing of physical punishment.
Chris Cloke of the NSPCC said: "Beating children gives a very clear message to children in terms of how we treat each other.
"If it is acceptable for an adult to beat a child, that conveys a message that it is acceptable for children to beat other children. We think this is wrong."