Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Saturday, July 3, 1999 Published at 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK


Heads fight caning ban

The schools argue that the ban infringes their rights

Headteachers from up to 40 Christian independent schools are preparing a legal challenge to the government's ban on corporal punishment.

They argue that it is an infringement of religious and parental rights.

The BBC's Josh Bassett: "The Law has moved against corporal punishment"
Corporal punishment has been illegal in state schools since 1987, and the ban will extend to the independent sector in September.

The headteacher of the independent Christian Fellowship School in Liverpool, Phil Williamson, believes that corporal punishment helps teach children the difference between right and wrong.

'Moderate and sensible'

He is leading a challenge to the new law in the European Court and is hoping to eventually overturn it

"If parents want their children disciplined in a moderate and reasonable way in a school community setting, then the government has no right to interfere with that," said Mr Williamson.

But almost every childcare organisation in the UK supports the outlawing of physical punishment.

Chris Cloke of the NSPCC said: "Beating children gives a very clear message to children in terms of how we treat each other.

"If it is acceptable for an adult to beat a child, that conveys a message that it is acceptable for children to beat other children. We think this is wrong."

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Education Contents

Hot Topics
UK Systems
League Tables

Relevant Stories

16 Jun 98 | Education
Corporal punishment outlawed

Internet Links

Department for Education

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

'Golden hellos' fail to attract new teachers

Children join online Parliament

Pupils 'too ignorant to vote'

Red tape toolkit 'not enough'

Poor report for teacher training consortium

Specialist schools' results triumph

Ex-headmaster guilty of more sex charges

Blunkett welcomes Dyke's education commitment

Web funding for specialist teachers

Local authorities call for Woodhead's sacking

Dyslexic pensioner wins PhD

Armed forces children need school help

Black pupils 'need better-trained teachers'

College 'is not cool'