HC Deb 05 February 1970 vol 795 cc601-2
3. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish in the OFFICIAL REPORT a list of the schools for which he is responsible where physical punishment of boys by boys or girls by girls is practised; if he will take steps to end these practices; and if he will now remove recognition from other schools until they cease to encourage or to permit punishment of pupil by pupil practices.

The Minister of State, Department of Education and Science (Miss Alice Bacon)

I do not have sufficient information to publish such a list but I should have thought that the corporal punishment of girls by girls was rarely, if ever, found in any school and that the corporal punishment of boys by boys is now found in just a few public schools. I deplore the practice, which would certainly be a factor in assessing the efficiency of a school.

Mr. Roberts

But would not my right hon. Friend accept that, since she and the Secretary of State have both expressed their abhorrence of this practice, it is time that some action was taken to curb this undesirable practice which takes place in some of the leading public schools?

Miss Bacon

Her Majesty's Inspectors point out, in any school they visit where corporal punishment of pupils by pupils is permitted, how undesirable this practice is. As I said, it is a factor in assessing the efficiency of a school.

Mr. Ronald Bell

Does not the right hon. Lady mean, in that context, undesirable to these particular inspectors? Are there no other criteria of what is desirable than the rather hog-bound views of these sorts of people?

Mr. Henig

Don't be silly.

Miss Bacon

I am not sure to whom the hon. and learned Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) is referring as "these sorts of people". But whether referring to Her Majesty's Inspectors or to my hon. Friend the Member for Bedfordshire, South (Mr. Gwilym Roberts), he is absolutely wrong.

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