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Singapore: School Caning

Note: This page gives only the official rules for Singapore as a whole.
For the current caning rules of many individual schools, see the School handbooks pages.
For a detailed factual description of the present-day situation, with illustrations, see Country files.
See also video clips of real-life Singapore schoolboy canings.

Regulation No 88 under the Schools Regulation Act 1957

Quoted in Teachers' Perception of the State of Discipline in Singapore Schools
Singapore Teachers' Union, 1985


1. No corporal punishment shall be administered to girl pupils.

2. The corporal punishment of boy pupils shall be administered with a light cane on the palms of the hand or on the buttocks over the clothing. No other forms of corporal punishment shall be administered to boy pupils.

3. Where there is more than one teacher in the school, corporal punishment shall be inflicted by the Principal only or under his express authority.

School Principals' Handbook, Section 19


19.3 Corporal punishment

Corporal punishment should be given only as a last resort for serious offences. It should not be inflicted for failure to learn or remember or do homework. Under no circumstances should girls be subjected to corporal punishment.

Corporal punishment inflicted on a group, irrespective of which of its members are guilty, is wrong and equivalent to assault.

The person administering corporal punishment, usually by caning, should not do so while in a fit of temper or when he is emotionally upset. Another teacher should be present to witness the caning.

The caning must be done with a light cane on the palms or buttocks, and nowhere else. All other forms of corporal punishment are strictly forbidden.

The caning should be recorded in a book, giving the name and class of the pupil and details of the occasion when it was administered, the date and time of the caning, and the nature of the offence. The name of the person who had administered the corporal punishment and the name of the witness, together with their signature and the signature of the principal, should also be on record.

The child's parents should be informed immediately of all the details of the offence and of the corporal punishment.

Classroom caning begins Senior schoolboy bending over as cane descends Caning of student in front of assembly Boy being caned in school corridor Student about to be caned in front of class
Some recent Singapore secondary-school canings.

Singapore boys' school
A typical Singapore boys' secondary school.

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