The Tess Archive - 8 April 1983

5th April 2013 at 01:00
The month of the Space Shuttle Challenger's maiden flight, and when Tokyo Disneyland opened to the public

Three more Scots cases taken to Europe

- The European Commission on Human Rights is considering 24 new cases concerning corporal punishment in British schools. Stopp, the Society of Teachers Opposed to Physical Punishment, tells of one Falkirk boy aged 12 who failed to complete a punishment exercise. He refused the belt from his class teacher, but was administered one stroke by a senior teacher. An altercation ensued, with the senior teacher putting the boy over his knee and beating him on the backside with the belt. The boy's parents say he had to be treated by the school nurse for cuts and bruises, and has suffered recurring headaches.

After the Tawse - review

- You can say that I have been taken in by a pretty face and a famous name, but I thought Sally Magnusson's Current Account report on the problems now that the belt has been banned in Strathclyde was informative and fair-minded. The Magnusson journalistic flair was in evidence and this programme was none the poorer for its moments of high drama. It opened with a young English teacher saying about the old system of punishment: "It was barbaric, but it did work and now we don't have it we're having enormous problems - enough to drive me out of teaching." As she spoke, she brandished from shoulder height what used to be known as Lochgelly leather.

Neanderthal noises - letter

- Sir - You rightly condemn the Association of Head Teachers for calling for the restoration of the belt in Lothian and Strathclyde primary schools. We can well do without "wild talk of anarchy in the classroom" and "neanderthal noises from the primaries". The tumult was entirely predictable. In December 1981, The Scotsman reported that the EIS had threatened that any authority imposing a "unilateral" ban could face "endless dissension, confrontation and legal action". The huge increase in suspensions in Strathclyde is the result of a self- fulfilling prophesy. Many schools seem to be following EIS advice, "locking out" children, so they can write to newspapers bemoaning the consequences of banning the belt.

Tom Scott, Society of Teachers Opposed to Physical Punishment.

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