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corporal punishment in girls schools.

February 19 2003 at 7:29 PM

When I attended a girls' secondary school in Ireland in the early 1970s corporal punishment was occasionally administered with a cane. I was caned about two or three times each year. The canes used in the school were long and swishy with curved handles at one end. Canings usually consisted of two strokes on each hand but occassionally three on each hand were given. Canings were usually adminstered in private in a room adjoining the head's office. However, one of the canings I received was in front of my whole form when I was in third form. Miss Boardman, our form mistress, found me and three other girls smoking in the toilets during morning break. After the break she went to each third form classroom to instruct all third form girls to go to the assembly hall. When we were all gathered in the hall, she appeared with a cane. She called me and the other girls caught smoking to the front of the hall and gave each of us six of the best. She gave me the cane on another occasion for ducking detention.

I would be interested to know if other girls experienced canings at school. Were girls in UK schools caned?

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C. Nickel

Re: corporal punishment in girls schools.

February 19 2003, 8:55 PM 

You say the canes had a curved handle at one end?

They weren't your typical Irish cane, then (i.e a curved handle at both ends)?


Re: corporal punishment in girls schools.

February 19 2003, 9:44 PM 

"...corporal punishment was occasionally administered with a cane. I was caned about two or three times each year."

This was what you consider occasional? At my (English) girls grammar school I think the cane may have been used two or three times during all my years there. What would an Irish school have been like where the cane was used often?

And please tell us more about some of your teachers!

C. Nickel

Re: Re: corporal punishment in girls schools.

February 19 2003, 10:03 PM 

Anyone wishing to learn about the joys of an Irish upbringing may like to see "The Magdelene Sisters" when it reaches their local cinema. Peter Mullan’s horrific story of four girls interned in the Magdalene Asylums in Ireland recently won the Golden Lion Award at the Venice Film Festival.

Teenaged girls imprisoned for life in the 20th Century for looking a bit flirty?

No, I'm not joking.

See the film for yourselves and be prepared to shed a lot of tears and forever after carry a sickbag in your pocket in case you accidently pass a Catholic church or catch a glimpse of the Pope on TV.

C. Nickel

Re: Re: Re: corporal punishment in girls schools.

February 19 2003, 10:37 PM 

For over 150 years, the Magdalene Laundries existed to punish young women who had fallen foul of Ireland’s strict adherence to Catholic doctrine. Generations of women were hidden from society and deprived of their freedom because they had become pregnant out of wedlock, because a parish priest decreed they were ‘in moral danger’, or just because they were poor.

With nuns acting as jailers, the girls were cut off from their families and endured slave labour conditions, brutalized and bullied in an institution sanctioned by Church and Government.

Many spent their lives there, to be buried by the hundred in unmarked graves.

The last laundry closed as recently as 1996.

Let me repeat that - the last laundry closed as recently as 1996 and only since has the true horror of conditions in these institutions started to emerge.

Set in the 1960s The Magdalene Sisters dramatizes the lives of three women sent to a Magdalene Laundry as punishment for their ‘sins’. With exceptional performances throughout, it is an indictment of a system that put religious dogma before the rights of its children.

Mullan skilfully manages to avoid preaching or handwringing, and the real strength of the film is that he manages to deliver a powerful statement with such admirable restraint.


Caning in English Girls Schools

March 1 2003, 2:59 PM 

I can assure you that English girls were caned at school in the 1960's and 1970's. I went to a direct grant school and I got caned a total of 5 times in my seven years there. Only our Headmistress could cane us, and we were always caned on the bottom. I was caned for smoking, fighting, reducing a trainee teacher to tears, and for not having my school work up to date when I was "on Report".

The Headmistress had two canes, a smaller one about 30 inches long that she used on first years and a 36 inch long cane that she used on others. Both had crook handles and hurt like hell! Normal punishment was 4 or 6 strokes.

Sue P

Caning in English Girls Schools

April 5 2003, 10:00 AM 

I was at a girls' grammar school in London back in the early 1960s and can confirm that the cane was in use. We had a Senior Mistress who administered any canings that were needed and I'm ashamed to say that my own bottom twice received what she always called "the benefit" of a caning.

I'd have to say that the cane was certainly not in use every day of the week or anything like that - indeed the vast majority of girls would have gone through school without ever seeing the cane, let alone feeling it.

Equally I'd have to admit that I deserved it both times - the first when I'd been caught carving the name of my then new boyfriend on my desk with the point of a compass, the second for smoking on the school field at lunchtime.

The cane was, as others have described, crook handled, and both times I got the standard six of the best. Thankfully all canings were administered in the privacy of the Senior Mistress' office, although - like any other girl - I was crying for a long while afterwards, much to the amusement of those girls who loved to tease on such occasions.

What more can I say? It damn well hurt!

Billy Biro

Re: Caning in English Girls Schools

April 5 2003, 4:16 PM 

Sue P,

Do you attend a school north of the Thames?

I know of no girls’ grammar school in South London where pupils were caned on the posterior.

Sue P


April 5 2003, 5:39 PM 

Yes Billy Biro, it was indeed north of the Thames - and a long time ago!


Re: Caning

April 5 2003, 6:21 PM 


You are far too cynical. I believe every word that Sue P has written.


Could you post some more details of corporal punishment at your school?


In Scotland

May 6 2003, 8:43 PM 

Nobody has mentioned Scotland yet, but I can assure you that in almost all Scottish schools until the mid 80s, the tawse was in regular use on girls as well as boys. The Scottish tawse is no toy either - it produces exceptionally painful bruising, but the culture was very much 'learn to be brave' and many girls I saw certainly were brave.



Re: In Scotland

May 6 2003, 8:59 PM 

It is good to have you with us, Kirsty!

Hugs and fuggs,



cp in girls schools

May 8 2003, 1:01 PM 

Can someone confirm exactly how hard girls are caned and was this usually over pants or trousers? What sort of marks were left?


cp in girls schools

May 8 2003, 2:57 PM 

Having gone to an all boys school I'm interested to know how severely administered is a girls caning? Is done full force or a light swing, also was this over pants or trousers and what marks were left?


Still in 2003?

May 18 2003, 5:54 PM 

I would be glad to chat with a mother who got the tawse years ago and is now using such tool with her own daughters.
Of corse no fetish but only real life experiences.


6 of the best

July 20 2003, 10:35 PM 

I was very interested to read of your public caning of 6 strokes of the cane.Were these stroke delivered to the palms of your hands,or to your buttocks?




punished on a girls' school

July 21 2003, 3:18 AM 

Yes, I was also frequently punished at school in NZ, where my family lived in the 60's and early 70s.
It was at a girls' boarding, and the girls received a strap either on the hands or across the backs of the bare legs (calves). This really stung, especially when cold, and it left marks 'as an example to others'.
You could receive up to 6, though sometimes more for being caught with pornography, etc. At assembly, if you weren't paying attention properly, as distinct from actually talking, you'd get a flick on the bare legs with a light cane. Once my friend and I, for truancy, received 6 across the backs of the legs with a thin cane, and it really did hurt! For days afterwards, when getting up or sitting, the weight put on the legs caused excruciating pain.
It was no picnic getting strapped on the hands in class either. This was usually for talking, disobedience or lying. At the boys' boarding school, in another suburb, where my brother attended, they used the cane, often on the bare, though frequently on the hands or clothed bottom.
Any other girls ever get leathered or caned around the legs? What were your thoughts about it?


Caning in English Girls Schools

July 30 2003, 2:54 PM 

I can confirm that there was a South london girls grammar school which used the cane in the 50s.
I had a 15 year old girlfriend who bunked off school for the day so that we could go out together.I forged a sicknote from her mum but we had been seen and she was sent to the head. I can confirm quite categorically that she received six strokes of the cane across her knickers for her trouble at the end of afternoon school. I met her from school and she was in floods of tears and when we were back in her home I saw the marks which were very severe thick ridges and worse than I had seen on boys when I was at school. It took nearly three weeks for them to fade. This was my first experience of punishment being given to a female and in retrospect was probably the start of my interest in the subject.She told me that canings at the school were not frequent but always severe when given
So to any of you doubters, this WAS a true experience, the school is still in existance, albeit at a new location.I still bump into the girl occasionally, she is now married with grandchildren and has told me that the caning was a significant moment in her life and will never be forgotten.


To swampy

August 1 2003, 3:34 PM 

Would you please tell us at which school your girlfriend was caned.

Our Research Team are guessing at Honor Oak, Peckham Rye.


To Karen

August 1 2003, 7:39 PM 

I can confirm that it was not Honor Oak school...sorry

I am wary of giving an actual name after some of ther legal problems at Friends reunited but it was a girls grammar school in Catford which has now been demolished and moved to another location and the wore a navy blue and white uniform. Sure you will be able to guess from that if you know the area.

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