Heads' tawse for thought

24th November 2000 at 00:00
SOME things at least have moved on. As the discipline debate raged at the Headteachers' Association of Scotland (HAS) annual shindig in Crieff (pages 4 and 5), a local antiques shop was selling a Loch-gelly or two (tawse, for the uninitiated) at between pound;45 and pound;65. It was enough to send the more mature heidies off to the recesses of their cupboards.

The new discipline regime in schools, of course, comes with its own price tag. Alternatives to the belt, excluding pupils even, cost money. But staff are keen to have a go, at least according to Dan McGinty, head f St Columba's High in Perth: "I know this because they told me. 'This place is going to the dogs,' they would say."

But heads have to tread warily, as McGinty acknowledged. "Teachers are suspicious of headteachers with vision - especially in the Catholic school."

The conference discussion showed that there's nothing heads like more than a good dose of discipline. It's a challenge. As Douglas Bader, the top gun at Perth Grammar, has been heard to describe the most "demanding" pupils, they are "that group who were never conquered by the Romans".

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today