One in five want cane returned

3rd October 2008 at 01:00

More than one in five teachers would like caning to be reintroduced in UK schools, a TES Cymru survey has found.

Of 6,162 teachers polled in England and Wales, 20.3 per cent support "the right to use corporal punishment in extreme cases". Most of those who gave reasons cited the deterioration of pupil behaviour.

Support seems strongest among secondary teachers - 22 per cent - and weakest among heads, deputies and assistant heads - 12 per cent.

Phil Dixon, director of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers Cymru, said: "I think there are obvious problems with discipline and behaviour in schools, and teachers need help dealing with them - but caning is not the way."

Only three decades ago, caning was still being used in 80 per cent of secondaries. The cane has been outlawed in UK state schools since 1988; the ban was extended to the independent sector in 1999.

Judith Cookson, a secondary supply teacher who "strongly" supported its return, said: "Children's behaviour is now absolutely outrageous in the majority of schools. I see very many schools and there are no sanctions."

Keith Towler, Children's Commissioner for Wales, said he was "deeply saddened" by the news: "Instead of thinking about re-introducing the cane, what we should be thinking about is prohibiting all physical punishment of children, in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and also promoting respect for children as people."

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,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today