Some years ago, mum took my sister, April, and I to the Lake District one summer for a week’s camping holiday. Cash was tight and this was a great way of getting away reasonably cheaply. I was really up for the adventure. We arrived mid-afternoon one Saturday and the traffic, remarkably, had not been too bad until the last few miles. We were staying on a small camping site about a half mile from Coniston. We had brought a blow up dinghy, swimming gear and a few other things to keep us amused, or so mum hoped. We pitched the family-sized tent, which we had

I attended a boy’s grammar school in west London between 1959 and 1966.  The events described here took place in 1962, when I was 14 years old. I was generally a well-behaved boy, respectful of authority and, if truth were told, probably a bit of a wimp. I was not spanked at home and my only prior experience of physical discipline was having my socks pulled down at primary school to have my calves slapped long and hard. At grammar school, corporal punishment seemed to acquire a new dimension and significance. It was by no means ubiquitous and many masters

I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in a good many outward-bound trips during my time at school. I attended an all-girls school with, basically, a great and caring atmosphere designed for good learning, but strict discipline when required. It was the summer of 1965 and a number of us went on a school trip to observe and study a beautiful mountain area in Wales. Whilst there were full group events, most of the time we were given assignments to study aspects of the countryside and the local geology and history. I was appointed leader of a

This took place when I was a freshman in high school In Alabama. It all started when I arrived for school. I used to meet my close circle of friends at the picnic tables situated at the rear of the sports ovals. We like it there as it was some sort of quiet in an otherwise over-crowded school. There was four of us. Firstly, myself. I have blonde hair and blue eyes, and was the athlete of the group, being the captain for the swim team. Then there was Sarah. She was the rebel of the group, constantly getting herself

Tara was an 18-year-old studying in a private girls-only school in London in the 1970s. Whilst not a boarding school, the establishment had a strict code of conduct and a strong disciplinary policy. Girls who broke the rules knew justice would be both fair and quickly applied, whether it be lines, detention or corporal punishment. The girls knew what to expect and took their medicine without complaint. This is an extract covering a few days from Tara’s journal whilst she was in the sixth form. Wednesday 15th November 1978 Dear journal, A very good day today. We had an inter-school hockey match and I scored

I was first caned when I was 11 at a prep school in Hertfordshire in the 1950s. It was only the headmaster who could cane, and he did it frequently. It was unlikely that you could pass through the school without a caning at some point. So far, I had managed to avoid it, only receiving a slippering from Matron on one occasion. I was never caned at home. There had been a rumpus in the dormitory, and Matron had caught three of us fighting. “Report to the headmaster’s study at break tomorrow, in your gym shorts.” That meant only

I was paddled just twice in school. First time was 15 years ago when I was nine years old. Three of us girls were messing around in an art drawing class and the lovely old teacher, Mrs B, called us out front and stood us in a line. Then she went to her desk, reached down to a bottom drawer and brought out a small wooden paddle. It was about fifteen inches long including the handle, just maybe three inches across. She had us all bend over and grab hold of our ankles, then she went down our little line

Back in the 1970s, I attended a state school in a middle-class area of north London. At the time, there were whispers that London schools might abandon the use of corporal punishment, but that certainly had not happened in my mixed-sex school. Teachers were allowed to slipper boys and girls. Only the headmaster and his female deputy were allowed to cane. Canings weren’t frequent, and it seemed only boys were caned, although I’m not sure why girls weren’t. I think it was allowed, but I never heard of it being done. Occasionally, when we didn’t have a lesson in our

In the mid-1970s I was in the fourth year of an all-boys grammar school in Essex. It was a good school with a good local reputation, and my group of three friends and I were well-behaved and quite bright academically. At that age, with cigarette and tobacco adverts all around, we became attracted to the idea of trying smoking for ourselves. Of course, we were too young to legally buy cigarettes. However, in those days almost every newsagent had a vending machine outside their premises where you could buy small packets of cigarettes just by inserting the correct coinage, thus

Once, in the last term before graduation from my high school in Madrid, I stayed late for a rehearsal of our school play. It was an adaptation of Don Quixote, and we were practicing really hard. I was to play the landlady at an inn the Don stops at. I was hurrying to the drama studio. My route happened to take me past the headmaster’s office and, as I passed it, I couldn’t help but hear that something was going on. There was a strange sound, like a gust of wind whistling through the air followed by a thud. A