I was sent to two private preparatory schools. In the first, there was a change of headmaster half way through when l was about 8 years old. The incoming owner was a tarter. He seemed to hate boys and would shout and scream violently at us.
The gym shoe was quite often in use. I hated it and developed asthma and acute stomach pains.
Eventually, my parents took me away and sent me to board elsewhere. Here, the cane was in frequent use, as well as the gym shoe, but the atmosphere was totally different. It was all done in a fatherly and controlled fashion. There was a pleasant avuncular feeling engendered by a gentle, kindly, headmaster with a real empathy for boys.
Despite there being probably more corporal punishment, it was a happy school and l have warm memories of the friendly teaching staff there.
To me, it shows that for small boys controlled corporal punishment itself did no harm. It was the background and atmosphere behind it that mattered.