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Friday, 7 January, 2000, 03:38 GMT
Parents 'back corporal punishment'
Some parents would like the return of corporal punishment
More than half of parents want to see a return to corporal punishment in schools, according to a poll.

The survey shows that two thirds believe school discipline has got worse over the past 10 years.

Almost a quarter of the 1,000 parents polled thought disruptive and badly behaved children were among the biggest problems in Britain's schools.

Key findings
66% of parents believe behaviour has declined in the last 10 years
51% would like to see corporal punishment reintroduced; 47% are opposed
67% think teachers should be paid by performance
42% say standards have improved in the last 10 years; 26% say they have fallen
Corporal punishment was outlawed 14 years ago in state schools in Britain and last year in the private sector.

The survey, carried out by FDS International for The Times Educational Supplement, showed that 51% of parents favoured the return of the cane, with 47% against.

However, the general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Doug McAvoy, said surveys of this kind usually showed a majority on favour of corporal punishment and the figure in the new survey was lower than in the past.

The parents identified education funding as another key concern, with 83% saying they did not think the government was spending enough on Britain's schools.

Seven out of 10 parents said they would be prepared to see income tax increased to fund improvements in schools.

Nearly half said they thought education standards had improved over the past 10 years, but the present government takes little credit.

Only two out of 10 said they thought standards had improved since the General Election, with 62% believing they had stayed the same.

Funding concern

Asked what they thought were the biggest problems facing schools at the start of the new millennium, 30% said lack of resources and 24% disruptive pupils.

Just under one in 10 cited teacher shortages, 7% poor teaching, 7% overcrowding in schools and 2% lack of parental support.

More than half thought standards in British schools were "fairly good" and 25% "very good".

By contrast, almost half of parents thought standards at their own children's school were "very good".

There was also widespread support for the principle of performance-related pay, even though the teachers' unions oppose the government's plans to link pay to pupils' results.

Corporal punishment
A necessary class- room discipline?
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