The Age of the Cane

THE VICTORIAN façade of my old primary school greatly impresses Clara, whose taste in architecture tends towards the turreted. “It’s very grand, Mum,” she says. “Like Malory Towers. Did you have tuck and play lacrosse?” “Not exactly,” I tell her. “We had sherbet dabs and toffee like they do in Enid Blyton, but we didn’t […]

Sparing The Rod

Caning was abolished 20 years ago. But do some teachers still wish it hadn’t been? Mark Gould reports Twenty years ago, after weeks of impassioned debate, warnings of total social breakdown and a hair’s-breadth vote, legislation banning corporal punishment in UK state schools became law. Debate raged over whether the change would necessitate slashing class sizes […]

Running wild, the idle pupils spoilt by their middle-class parents

MIDDLE-CLASS children are being turned into spoilt “little Buddhas” as a rising number of parents refuse to require that they do household chores, a teachers’ leader has warned. Too many pupils lack proper boundaries because over-indulgent mothers and fathers “wait on them hand and foot” and no longer ask them to help around the home, […]

‘If it was legal, I’d bring back cane’

THE controversial co-founder of one of Education Secretary Michael Gove’s flagship free schools has said he would happily bring back corporal punishment if he were allowed. Writer and journalist Toby Young, who is chairman of governors of the West London Free School in Hammersmith, says that he was regularly beaten at school by his PE […]

Whipped and sentenced to hard labour for stealing books, rabbits and celery

Real-life Artful Dodger gang of Victorian child criminals are seen in newly-unearthed police mugshots Chilling evidence of Victorian child offenders — some of whom were as young as ten when they were jailed — have resurfaced. The Evidence, which originate from Wandsworth Prison in London, were recorded in December 1872 to January 1873 . Most […]

Spare the rod, pay the price

When I read of the goings on in some UK schools today; with pupil-on-teacher violence, savage bullying and a total disrespect for authority, it horrifies me. Sure in my day we may have transported the art master’s cycle from the bike sheds to the roof on one occasion, and sent an explicit Valentine’s card to […]

42% of Leave voters back return of caning post-Brexit

42 per of Leave voters back the return of corporal punishment but only 14 per cent of Remain voters want Britain to ‘bring back the birch’ after leaving EU Forty-two per cent of those who voted Leave in the Brexit referendum think Britain should bring back caning in schools after the country exits the EU. […]

I’d give school bullies a taste of their own medicine

As a mother whose youngest has just started secondary school, I’ll admit that I’m on the alert for stories of youngsters being targeted by gangs of older teenagers. But this week, two sickening incidents remind all of us, even if we don’t have children, of the horrors of bullying. Exhibit One: A viral video of […]

Punishment game marines avoid prison

FOUR senior marines have avoided jail for failing to stop junior ranks hitting each other’s backsides with a 2ft strap known as ‘Big Red’. Sergeants Richard Melia and Ian Spence and Corporals Robert Wake and John Arnett all pleaded guilty to four counts of failing to perform their public duty on October 28, 2014. Yesterday […]

Don’t lets destroy our society

  A GRUESOME whirlwind has been tragically reaped. The mindless and fearful consequences of decades of overindulgence of our youth, the crazed and misguided obsession with seeking to elevate their status almost to the level of an oppressed minority, and the craven acceptance of wilful and unacceptable behavior reached its inevitable peak with the shocking […]

Corporal punishment in Middle Ages reassessed by Leicester academic

  Beaten into them: Representations of chastisement of medieval students The savage history of beating, flogging and whipping schoolchildren for educational benefit has been studied by an academic. Dr Ben Parson, from the University of Leicester, has written a paper on corporal punishment in the Middle Ages and come to the conclusion that classroom beatings […]

The headmaster who beat me black and blue with a bamboo cane and why I’d like to thank him for it

    When I say that M.L. Forster loomed over me, it wasn’t too difficult. At 11 years old, I was the smallest boy in the school. Also the skinniest. And at that moment, by far the most frightened. M.L. Forster, headmaster, and frightener-in-chief, was over 6ft tall, more than 16st, a huge and powerful […]