City Education Committee.

Berrow’s Worcester Journal, Worcester, 18 July 1903

City Education Committee.

Wednesday: present – The Mayor […]

(extract)

[…]

Corporal Punishment.

Mr Hopton moved that corporal punishment should be administered by the head teacher only, or his representative in his absence, and not by certificated teachers as the regulation provided. Mr Hillard accepted the arguments for limiting the infliction of punishment to headmasters.

Canon Carr said there were large schools in the city where a whole department was under the control of a certificated teacher and where some classes were very far away from a headmaster. Mr Hillard thought that an argument for limiting the infliction of punishment to the head teachers, because between offence and punishment there should be an interval.

Mr Watts strongly opposed the amendment. If the committee had any practical knowledge of schools, they would not consent to give all the power to a head master. Certificated teachers, many of them of long experience, should have a little more power given to them, and discipline could not be obtained without it. Teachers might be tempted to take the power if it were not given, and children’s ears would be boxed.

Mr Mayglothling said it was not right to make the head teacher a monster.

Miss Ottley asked if the committee had no other punishment than corporal.

Mr Watts said the cane was used as a last resource.

Canon Carr said he was anxious to see the cane made the only punishment. The question of boxing ears was very serious, doctors having discovered that tuberculosis, lying dormant, could be so stimulated to activity.

The amendment was carried, and the revised resolution read: Corporal punishment may be administered only by the head teacher or, in his absence, his representative, and such punishment shall be inflicted with the cane. No striking with the hand or ruler shall be permitted, and especially no striking on the head.