Corporal punishment in UK schools

Corporal punishment was prohibited in all state-supported education in 1986. The prohibition was extended to cover private schools in England and Wales in 1998, in Scotland in 2000, and in Northern Ireland in 2003. But in 2014 the Government confirmed that legislation does not prohibit corporal punishment in “unregistered independent settings providing part-time education”.

Country Report

Smacking to be banned in Scotland

Smacking children is to be banned in Scotland, the Scottish government has confirmed.

The move would make the country the first part of the UK to outlaw the physical punishment of children.

Ministers had previously said they did not support parents using physical chastisement, but had “no plans” to bring forward legislation of their own.

But the government has now confirmed it will ensure a bill lodged by Green MSP John Finnie will become law.

And it is understood that ministers will work with Mr Finnie to implement the bill in practice.

His proposals, which were out for consultation over the summer, would give children the same legal protection as adults.

At present, parents in Scotland can claim a defence of “justifiable assault” when punishing their child – although the use of an “implement” in any punishment is banned, as is shaking or striking a child on the head.

BBC News

The Guardian

Head of Trinity Grammar boarding school in Sydney misled school council on abuse claims

Royal commission finds Milton Cujes did not disclose he was aware of allegations of assaults in boarding house

Trinity grammar school’s longtime headmaster misled the prestigious Sydney school’s council over the handling of allegations of boarders sexually abusing other boys, a royal commission has found.

The school council had expressed full confidence in its headmaster, Milton Cujes, and staff over the way they dealt with allegations of boarders being sexually abused with wooden implements in 2000.

But the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse found Trinity’s school council was misled by the head, who is retiring at the end of this year after 21 years in the role.

The Guardian

Ongar boarding school teacher standing trial for child sex offences was investigated 30 years ago

A retired boarding school teacher who allegedly told a young boy “he was not washing properly” before indecently touching him in the shower was investigated by police almost 30 years ago.

No charges were brought against Brian Truan, 80, during the investigation in 1988, but the former teacher is now standing trial accused of sexually abusing a number of male pupils in the communal showers at Elmbridge School in Ongar.

The defendant, of Church Road, Peldon, worked at the school until it closed down in 1994, serving as house master.

Essex Live

Daily Gazette

Sussex music teacher banned over sexual relationships with pupils

A music teacher has been banned “indefinitely” from the classroom after striking up “disturbing” relationships with two pupils.

Nathan Waring, 37, “developed an inappropriate relationship” with a 12 year old while working at a boarding prep school in Eastbourne.

Despite warnings, his conduct continued towards a second girl when he took up a job at a boarding school in Norfolk.

A misconduct panel concluded that Mr Waring “showed no remorse“.

The hearing, led by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), found Mr Waring struck up a relationship with a girl – known as Pupil A – while working at St Bede’s Prep in Eastbourne, between 2004 and 2007.

He sent text messages of a sexual nature and kissed and touched her inappropriately, the NCTL panel heard.

BBC News

The Mirror

Repton School teacher banned from teaching for sexually assaulting pupil

Teacher at private boarding school is banned from the classroom after putting his hand on a pupil’s bottom and telling her she was sending his blood pressure soaring

  • John Mitchell, 41, groped 16-year-old girl at Repton School in Derby
  • When she bent over, he told her: ‘Bloody hell. You’ll give me a coronary’
  • Father-of-four touched her leg when he drove her home after school event
  • He was cautioned by police for engaging in sexual activity with the pupil
  • Disciplinary panel banned him from teaching for minimum of two years

Daily Mail

The Sun

Repton School sued for for failing to protect pupil from a ‘rapist’

Teenager tries to sue prestigious £33,000-a-year Repton School for failing to protect her from a ‘rapist’

  • Police called to Repton School after 16-year-old said she was attacked
  • 17-year-old arrested on suspicion of carrying out sex assault in a park
  • But the pupil’s alleged victim now wants to sue school for negligence
  • Roald Dahl and Jeremy Clarkson were former pupils at the top school

A teenager is trying to sue a private boarding school over claims it failed to protect her from an alleged rapist.

Police were called to £33,000-a-year Repton School in Derbyshire after the 16-year-old said she was attacked.

A 17-year-old pupil was arrested on suspicion of carrying out the sex assault in a park close to the prestigious school, where Roald Dahl and Jeremy Clarkson were former pupils.

Daily Mail

The future of UK boarding schools. Discussed in secret.

What do they have to hide? That boarding for preteens and early teens is in terminal decline after years of sexual assaults and child abuse?

“Six things we learned about private schools at this year’s HMC conference”

6)…But they like their privacy

Much of the discussion at the conference was held behind closed doors, with journalists not allowed to attend. Requests to attend discussions on the future of boarding schools, on how schools can improve pupils’ wellbeing and on the marking of this summer’s IGCSEs were all turned down on the grounds that sensitive information might be discussed.

TES News

Jon Snow: C4 News presenter abused at Ardingly College aged 6

The Channel 4 News presenter, Jon Snow, was abused by a domestic servant at his boarding school when he was around six years old, in 1953.

It took him years to talk to anyone about his experience: ‘It is very, very difficult to do. But it’s an essential thing to do’.

BBC News

How do the parents of boarders treat their child’s teachers?

‘Workload issues may differ between state and private schools, but its effect is equally malign’

We need to create a more realistic working environment for teacherstheir mental health and general wellbeing will improve as a result, and that will trickle down to their pupils, writes one celebrated head

Well, the honeymoon’s over.  The start-of-term energy and optimism are wearing thin. Books are piling up, older pupils’ first major pieces of work awaiting marking.

No one goes into teaching assuming it’ll be easy. But now it’s getting darker earlier, the light’s shorter while days become longer: and half-term’s too far off yet to be counting down the hours.

Teacher workload is a problem, and teachers’ representatives are rightly more exercised about it than ever, while politicians largely ignore their concerns.

Having spent nearly all my career in private schools, I’m often asked how the independent sector tackles workload issues. My customary answer is that it’s much like the maintained sector: some schools manage them well, others work their staff into the ground, and all should look at the (frequently excessive) demands made of teachers.


Parents sometimes assume a right to contact their child’s teachers at any time they choose. Boarding-school staff, in particular, live in dread of the late-night (too frequently alcohol-fuelled, alas) email or phone-call expressing anger, accusation – even abuse. Many schools nowadays publish protocols in an attempt to protect their teachers from such exchanges.

TES News