HC Deb 19 October 1954 vol 531 cc1017-8
28. Mr. G. M. Thomson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consult local authorities and teachers' organisations with a view to promoting the progressive abolition of corporal punishment in Scottish schools.

Mr. J. Stuart

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a memorandum on "The Primary School in Scotland" published in 1950, which gave education authorities and their staffs advice on the question of punishment. In my view this advice, which recognises that there are occasions when corporal punishment is justified, still holds good and I do not think that any useful purpose would be served by consultations designed to promote the abolition of corporal punishment.

Mr. Thomson

Has the attention of the Secretary of State been drawn to recent correspondence in the "Scotsman," in which widespread anxiety was expressed in the extent of corporal punishment in Scottish schools? Is he aware that Scotland lags a long way behind England in this matter and even further behind other civilised countries of the world?

Mr. Stuart

I read the correspondence with interest, and it struck me that there was a great difference of opinion among a number of the correspondents.