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Reformatory CP - November 1977

Newark Advertiser, Nottinghamshire, 5 November 1977

Caning on the behind favoured

Caning of children aged over six in some of Nottinghamshire County Council's homes is being recommended to the social services committee.

The introduction of the cane, currently banned, to six community homes that also provide education, and observation and assessment centres, was accepted during a secret session of the council's young persons subcommittee. The social services committee will be asked to back the subcommittee's recommendation on Wednesday.

Among homes affected is South Collingham Hall, which cares for children aged 5-17.

In a joint report, social services chairman Mrs Brenda Borrett (Con., Nottingham) and director Mr Edward Culham say medical advice is that all forms of corporal punishment cause injury.

Cuffing and shaking can cause serious injury, and should never be applied, they say. Slapping and caning are less serious, but should not be allowed on the head, neck, hand, or soft parts of the body.


They say the only type of corporal punishment that should be allowed is up to six strokes of the light cane on the buttocks, over normal daily clothes.

It is recommended that only the head, or an officer in charge, would be allowed to use the cane. Girls may be beaten only by a senior female member of staff in the presence of the head or officer in charge.

Heads should be reminded that corporal punishment should be used only as a last resort.

Heads of all other community homes are to be reminded that they may not use any form of physical punishment.

The Guardian, London, 22 November 1977

Dormitory barricade boys caned

By a Staff Reporter

FOURTEEN boys at Woolton Vale assessment centre in Liverpool have been caned after barricading themselves into two dormitories last week and causing 130 pounds worth of damage.

The centre is to be visited later this week by the local government ombudsman for the north of England, following repeated allegations of ill-treatment.

Police were called to the centre last Wednesday evening to break up the disturbance, the second such incident this month. Less than three weeks ago, nine boys barricaded themselves into their dormitory. They were later made to sleep on mattresses on the floor.

During Wednesday night's incident windows and curtain fittings were smashed and some beds were damaged beyond repair. A Liverpool council spokesman said yesterday that some boys were once again sleeping on the floor.

The spokesman said that 18 boys were involved, but he had no idea what had caused the disturbance. "A number of the boys involved were disciplined in the usual way", he said. "They were caned in accordance with county council standards."

There have been allegations of ill-treatment at Woolton Vale in the past few months, and some parents have protested at the treatment of children living there. A confidential social services report was reported to have concluded that the allegations were unfounded.

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