Survey reveals support for caning unruly pupils

Half of parents and 19% of pupils think corporal punishment should be brought back

Almost half of parents and nearly a fifth of children believe caning should be brought back to the classroom in cases of very bad behaviour, a survey suggests.

The survey, commissioned by the Times Educational Supplement (TES), reveals that the majority of parents and pupils think teachers should have the power to be tougher with unruly students.

A fifth (19%) of pupils agreed that corporal punishment, such as the cane or slipper, should be brought back.

Ministers have announced plans to give teachers more powers to deal with poor discipline, such as searching pupils for items that disrupt the classroom and allowing them to use force where necessary to restrain students.

Michael Gove, the education secretary, said: “There are many great heads and teachers who run schools where children behave well and achieve.

“But in some of our most challenging areas there are profound problems as the events of last month underlined.

“That’s why we need to give teachers more power to keep order and emphasise that adult authority should be respected and teachers obeyed.”

The Association of Teachers and Lecturers said that while some parents might see corporal punishment as a “quick fix”, it did not work.