I am just dropping you a brief reply in response to the request on your website about sanctions other than corporal punishment. At my school, in addition to corporal punishment (which was typically ruler, slipper, strap or cane), numerous other sanctions were imposed dependent on the wrong-doing one had carried out.  This was during the early 1970s at a private boarding school. Over the years I saw or suffered the following:

  1. Confinement to wearing school uniform at all times. This meant the full embarrassment of spending the evenings and weekends wearing white shirt, school tie, green tunic, green knee socks, green cardigan and maroon blazer.
  2. Writing essays and/or lines on my punishment either under detention conditions or in my own time. The essays and lines typically related to an individual’s offences and punishments.
  3. Confinement to school grounds which meant no freedom to go into the local village on a Saturday.
  4. Confinement to your dormitory outside of lessons.
  5. Loss of privileges such as watching TV, listening to the radio and reading magazines.
  6. Mouth washing with carbolic soap and water – almost obligatory if one lied.
  7. Long periods of corner time in classrooms, in the playground and stood outside the staff room.  In the worst cases with the naughty girl having to stand with her knickers round her ankles and tunic, cardigan and blazer pinned up, hands on her head with a reddened behind on display for all to see.
  8. Extra lessons on subjects where academic performance was deemed unacceptable.
  9. Have to write a letter of apology to your parents describing what you had done wrong, how you were being punished and how this would improve your behaviour in the future. Purpose of this was of course also to make your parents aware of any misbehaviour so that they could consider punishing you themselves during the holidays (which in my case was the norm).
  10. Menial school service which involved spending your evening free time or Saturday and/or Sunday afternoons performing laborious and menial work frequently where you would be seen by other pupils.  This involved tasks such as scrubbing and polishing the assembly hall, mopping corridors, changing rooms and toilets.
  11. Extra cross country runs frequently starting at 6:30 am followed by a cold shower.
  12. Drill and inspection.
  13. Being sent to bed early and/or without supper.
  14. The worst sanction was to be sent to the Punishment dormitory under the supervision of matron which meant having to comply with a regime employing many of the above sanctions and more. The worst of these was confinement to the old fashioned school uniform which made the normal school uniform feel something desirable to be wearing. I can only guess it was from the 1930s or 40s. This consisted of brown large elasticated double gusted school knickers, an itchy grey wool vest, brown woollen knee socks and elastic garters, clumpy school sandals, yellow shirt, brown and yellow striped tie, a really heavy brown serge pinafore dress with short sleeves which came over the shoulders and down towards the elbows (I have never seen anything like it since), buttons on the apron and heavy pleats on the skirt which reached to your knees, woollen school cardigan (no matter what the weather), brown school blazer and a brown school hat. This was worn except when in bed or doing PE which included the weekly trip to Church in the village which meant you were seen dressed like this in public.

Now, when I write these out, it looks like a very severe list of sanctions to have to suffer but they were only ever applied when you did not obey the rules which were very clear to all of us.  Of course if you did offend then the sanctions were applied in a way which I think many would see as very severe.  However in my case I have to say although I hated punishments I received in the end I had a very good education and when I was punished deserved it (even if a bit harsh). The worst was ending up on the Punishment dormitory which thankfully was rare and only happened to me once in seven years.  Obviously if you would like any further information please let me know. There were a few others which I could add if you wanted to be comprehensive.

Other further punishments I recall were things such as community work like as litter picking, again in full uniform in what would have been our leisure time, having to stand on a chair with your hands on your head in lessons and even though it seems so old fashioned now being sent to the corner wearing a Dunce’s hat for poor test results. Please feel free to add these and post as you see fit.  I don’t have much time at the moment but if you think it would be interesting to others to have a more detailed description of my personal experience receiving the slipper, ruler and cane then I would be happy to do this likewise my experience of being sent to the punishment dormitory, for smoking and associated wrongdoings, with the many penances involved. As you say times have changed – even when I completed my studies and my parents sent me to a finishing school discipline was still present.  Even at 19 and 20 I was not exempt from corporal punishment and constraining punishments. The childish humiliation of some of these, of course, being even more effective as I became older.

Liz S