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School CP - December 1948

Corpun file 6635a at

Evening News, London, 1 December 1948


Don't Spare the Rod

AFTER reading your report about three schoolgirls who went "on strike" after being caned, I took a vote among the 300 pupils of my own school -- a High School for Girls -- to see how many were in favour of being caned (we are all liable, here, to such punishment).

Result: 291 in favour of caning, as opposed to other forms of punishment; nine against. All but eight of the girls said that caning was the mode of punishment in their homes. -- (Miss) J.T. (head prefect, aged 18), Surrey.

Corpun file 24603 at

Press cuttingDaily Mail, London, 9 December 1948, p.1

Protest at canings

Parents in Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, are protesting against the caning of 30 Grammar School boys as a punishment for playing truant last Monday, when Scunthorpe United played Halifax in a Football Association Cup-tie.

It is alleged that the boys were given "six of the best," four were put into lower forms, and one older boy lost his prefecture.

Corpun file 6635 at

Evening News, London, 16 December 1948

'Traces Of Smiles' As Headmistress Caned Them

Girl Strikers 'Were Like Amazons'

Attack on prefect story

A STORY of girls who were alleged to have behaved "more like Amazons than schoolgirls" was told at Brentwood, Essex, to-day, when four parents were summoned for failing to cause them to attend school.

Press cuttingThe girls had been on strike for a month from Brentwood Secondary Girls' School as a protest against an alleged caning for singing in the school bus.

The parents were:

Roderick George Austin, of Barrack-row, Herongate, in respect of his daughter Sylvia, aged 13; James Henry Abbott, of Council Houses, Herongate (Molly and Freda, aged 12 and 14); Oakley Turner, Council Houses, Herongate, (Kathleen, 14); and Albert Lee, Blacksmith's Cottages, Herongate (Edna, 13).


Mr A. Morgan, prosecuting for the Essex Education Committee, said complaints had been made to the headmistress, Miss James, that some of the pupils had been excessively boisterous in the school buses. She brought this to the notice of the girls and told them that singing or noise in the bus distracted the attention of the driver.

Prefects were appointed to maintain order on the buses, and for a period the singing ceased. Later it burst out again on the Herongate bus and several girls were caned by the headmistress.

Apparently there was some feeling among the parents of the girls, and on November 8, when a prefect left from the bus, the girls dragged her across the road and set on her in a ferocious manner.

Mothers' Visit

The girls were caned before the school for what, it was submitted, was a grave breach of discipline. From that day the girls had been absent from school.

Inquiries from the parents only resulted in continuous obstruction, and two parents, Mrs. Austin and Mrs. Lee, visited the school and were extremely abusive to the headmistress, whom they threatened to assault if this continued.

Mr. Morgan said that each time the headmistress administered one slight stroke of the cane on each of the girls' hands, and Miss James would say there were no tears -- in fact there were "traces of smiles" on the girls' faces.

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