After Debbie and I were caned for Debbie using a crib sheet, we didn’t imagine we would be back in trouble two months later.

Debbie and I played truant to watch a film, ‘Goals’, at the pictures. Our exams were over, and I was due to leave school for university that August, if I got my expected grades. Debbie had her A level year to complete. We wrote each other notes excusing us from school and signed them. Not being in the same class, and school nearly over, we didn’t envisage any problems. The signature was spotted by Debbie’s teacher and they soon discovered mine was forged as well.

Debbie was waiting in the office when I got there, and we were lectured about honesty, fraud and truancy. The headmaster said he wanted to see our parents, and wrote us letters to take home. We were suspended immediately.

Debbie was really worried that she could be expelled with her A level year coming up.

She said to me: “I never thought after last time I would be hoping for a caning.”

We went to see my mum first, as she never went to work, and told her what had happened. She said we were very silly and said that if we were expelled not only would it mess up Debbie’s A level year, but it could affect my chance at University.

We saw Debbie’s mum when she came home, and she could not believe how silly we had been. Debbie cried and said she could not be expelled, adding that a severe caning would be the best to hope for.

We turned up together in Miss James’ office with our mothers. Mr Jaques was also there.

At first, it looked like we were to be expelled, but my mother surprised us with a passionate plea. She said in her last year at school she bunked off with her boyfriend, and they were spotted by a teacher smoking while coming out of a pub. The repercussions were similar to this scenario, but her headmaster accepted that being expelled would damage, if not end, their chances of going to university. Six strokes of the cane each were awarded; my mum got it on her hands, three on each, while her boyfriend got it on his backside. She said the pain was worse than she expected and she cried her eyes out, but she got over it with no harm to her future.

Miss James asked us to wait outside while they discussed our punishment. We were called back into the office and severely lectured. but we were told we would not be expelled but a lesson they hoped we wouldn’t forget. I was up first, and Mr Jaques told me to bend over to give me six strokes on my backside.

Then it was Debbie’s turn. Miss James gave her three across each palm, very hard. Debbie had never ever felt stinging like that, but managed to keep her hands out. Miss James warned us there would not be a next time. She told us to go home, recover and come back tomorrow with a clean sheet.