Row over bring back caning vote

By Daily Mail Reporter

Click to enlarge

A BITTER row has broken out over a decision to bring back the cane in a county’s boys’ homes.

The decision was taken by Essex County Council’s social services committee under a 40-year-old code of practice which permits up to 12 strokes of the cane for boys over 15.

Younger boys can be given up to six strokes.

Under the code only headmasters can administer the punishment and the cane must not be used on boys who have physical or mental disabilities.

Alderman Fred Hodgson, committee chairman, said corporal punishment was rarely used but was needed to help staff at approved schools and community homes.

But committee-member Alderman Stanley Wilson claimed the move was ‘barbaric.’ He said: ‘It is 50 years out of date and I do not know of any other county which is doing this.


‘It is indecent to beat a 15-year-old boy in this way and I am totally opposed to this step.’

Alderman Elsie Morris also protested. She said: ‘Corporal punishment has not been proved successful. The same child can be beaten time after time without success. We should use the brain not the cane.’

If approved by the council the bring-back-the-cane ruling will apply to all former approved schools in Essex.