Orwell Church of England School Punishments

The Cane was once the teacher's main weapon to keep the children in check.

By Derek Skipper

The Church of England School in Orwell has in its archives a record book of pupil punishments that states on the first page;-

“That every head is required to keep a Punishment Book, in which every case of corporal punishment shall be entered forthwith, with the description and amount of punishment and the offence for which it is administered; and that hereafter only head teachers be allowed to administer this form of punishment.”   A resolution passed by the Education Committee on February 21st 1907.

The first entry in our school's punishment book is dated August 6th 1907, when Stanley Miller had a stroke on his hand for disfiguring his exercise book.

Talking in class, time wasting and sulkiness got you The Cane

Punishments of one or two strokes on the hand were given for things like Talking, Laziness, Refusal to work, Wasting Time, Sulkiness, Ill Temper and Careless Work.

Perhaps those 'strokes on the hand' were a beneficial, character-forming discipline, because many of those named in the punishment book - mainly boys - grew up to be well-respected members of our community. Are their descendants, some of whom still live in Orwell, aware of how naughty Grandpa was at times? 

The cane was last used in 1971

The record book was begun in 1907 and covers the first six decades of the 20th century, but the entries are not continuous.  The last entry is dated 5th March 1971 when two boys were given a stroke on the hand for bullying other pupils.

This page was added by Derek Skipper on 22/10/2013.

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