Corpun file 21101
Daily Telegraph, London, 27 February 2009
Banning the cane started slide in pupil discipline, parents believe
By Graeme Paton
Click to enlarge
BEHAVIOUR among schoolchildren has got worse since the cane
was abolished, according to parents.
Government research showed some mothers and fathers believed
corporal punishment was an "effective method of
control" when they were at school. They said the decision to
outlaw corporal punishment had contributed to a decline in
The comments -- in a study for the Department for Children,
Schools and Families -- come just months after a fifth of
teachers called for the cane to be reintroduced to restore order
in the classroom.
This week, a report by Ofsted suggested traditional discipline
methods such as suspending hundreds of troublemakers at a time
and banning children with shaven heads and designer trainers was
a good deterrent.
Corporal punishment, including the use of the cane and ruler, was
abolished in state schools in 1987, and 1998 in the fee-paying
In the latest study, 48 adults were interviewed to gauge their
perception of behaviour among young people. When asked to
describe what they felt was behind a decline in discipline, they
made a series of observations.
These included the "increasing demands on teachers, leaving
them less effective to teach and discipline effectively".
The group, which included 32 parents, also cited the
"suitability of some teachers to the profession",
suggesting that some lacked an ability to "instil respect
and good behaviour among teenage pupils".
They added that "the removal of corporal punishment in
schools, which many felt had been an effective method of control
in their day", also affected discipline standards.
Margaret Morrissey, of the campaign group Parents Outloud, said:
"When it was used as a threat, rather than being used to
actually hit a child, corporal punishment was often an effective
"I am just not convinced that in the present climate there
is a possibility it can come back. Can you imagine the number of
compensation claims it would lead to?
"I really do believe that the problem for the deteriorating
behaviour is the political correctness of the last 10 years that
has told children to stand up and complain the moment someone
tries to tell them off."
A spokesman for the Department for Children, Schools and Families
said: "This is not evidence that anyone wants a return to
corporal punishment in schools.
"Since its abolition, there has been no widespread demand
for a change in this position."
A survey of more than 6,000 teachers last year found more than a
fifth believed the cane should be brought back.
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