I attended an all-boys grammar school in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Most teachers used corporal punishment to some degree, mainly the slipper, which was a thin rubber soled gym shoe. Some just used the palm of their hand to impart whacks, as we called them. This would usually be to the seat of a boy’s trousers while he bent over in an attempt to touch his toes. Sometimes a boy would bend over a desk, and small boys might be taken over the teacher’s lap.

For more serious offences, a boy might have to report to a teacher after school and then the slipper might be applied to a boy’s underpants or even his bare bottom. In gym lessons, boys would be whacked in whatever state of dress they happened to be in. We weren’t allowed to wear underpants under our thin gym shorts, which is how we were mostly whacked, but if in the changing room we could even get it on our bare bottoms.

The headmaster administered all canings, which were quite rare, maybe three or four boys in each year would be caned on average. All canings were administered to a boy’s bare bottom without exception.

Prefects could punish with lines, up to a hundred, and could administer up to three whacks with a slipper. For some reason, we would choose the slipper from a prefect rather than from a teacher, given the choice, but I’m not sure prefects whacked any more gently. Perhaps they were a little less formal somehow. It was generally supposed they were only supposed to slipper over a boy’s trousers, but I was certainly slippered by two prefects on my underpants and I knew other boys who got the same.

There was an all-girls grammar school about half a mile away. They were mostly punished with detentions and writing lines, but the slipper was occasionally used for more serious offences. Their headmistress did ‘cane’ but used a three-foot long wooden ruler, possibly a dressmaking type of ruler.