Punishments meted out in 70s schools, how creative were your teachers?

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  • Punishments meted out in 70s schools, how creative were your teachers?
  • Premier Icon luffy105

    We had the usual ruler across the knuckles and the teacher who was a crack shot with a board rubber.

    I got slippered with a plimsoll once too but don’t recall that it hurt that much. I seem to remember I completely deserved that one.

    The punishment that took all of our time though had to be the dreaded ‘Statements’. These were sheets of 50 facts that had to be copied out meticulously and took bloody ages. some were short and sweet such as ‘Even monkeys fall off trees – Ancient Chinese Proverb’ to some of the longer ‘Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre but they are more deadly in the long run – Mark Twain’. Some where science based, some history. and even some in foreign languages “Wenn ich ‘Kultur’ höre, nehme ich meine Pistole. Herman Goering” (just googled it and apparently not him really)

    Minor offence was 10 – 20 statements and naughty was 50. If you had been a complete pillock you got 100. They took ages to write out and it was crushing to see them torn up when you handed them in.

    I think the boys got the worst of the treatment although I did get a blackboard rubber thrown at me! I also got into big trouble for criticizing a teacher who routinely hit a boy over the knuckles with a ruler as he was doing his work. She then made me stand behind him for a morning and had to agree that his work ‘wasn’t very good’ at the end of it!

    Premier Icon Cougar

    I don’t think I ever received corporal punishment at school. I was a girly swot and had a much harder time with the other kids than I did with teachers; I was systematically bullied for three years at high school until I worked out that fighting back was a moderately effective deterrent.

    I vaguely remember that the threat of punishment was much more common than the actual punishment. Playground rumours were rife about which teacher had a cane or a slipper or suchlike. I remember one teacher being a crack shot with chalk (which I suppose is better than the board duster!), having a stick explode on their desk seemed to focus kids’ attentions fairly readily. One teacher was adept at winding up to throw the board duster then dropping it before the actual throw, just as effective at getting kids to scatter without risk of being sacked I guess. Oh, and our woodwork teacher used to demonstrate the virtues of sensible footware by dropping hammers onto unruly pupils’ toes.

    Premier Icon vinnyeh

    Mid 70’s, New Zealand state school (probably similar to grammar school here).

    I was caned after the groundsman saw me walking across the 1st XI cricket pitch (admittedly, it was roped off at the time)
    Winter detention after school – crawling up and down rugby pitches on hands and knees looking for stones.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Likewise in the late 80s/90s we had a very genial school environment without any teacher-based violence. The most shocking thing anyone did was the Geography teacher’s habit of smacking a metre rule on the desk of some kid not paying attention. It always got a big laugh as they’d jump out of their skin and most victims could the joke.


    One teacher at my school was so creative with his “12 inch pink floppy thing” (a piece of pink rubber he used to strap people with), that he has now had to resign his post as a lay minister in the RC church, and is appearing in Crown Court next month on 47 charges against 29 different pupils.

    Hope he feels the full penalty of the law.

    Yes remember those rumours! We had other trials and tribulation though. The caretaker at our primary school would most certainly have been on the sex offenders register these days – gotta love the 70’s!! 🙂

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Oh, just remembered one. Our generally cool and froody maths teacher once pulled an inspired stunt with a persistently gobby pain in the ‘arris of a kid.

    Strength test. Bit like an arm wrestle. Put your elbow on the desk, I’ll hold your fist, bet you can’t pull away from me.

    Kid’s there, straining for the bicep curl with all his strength. Teacher suddenly lets go. Bang, kid punches himself hard in the face. Class goes wild, kid can’t do anything as the teacher hasn’t hit him.

    Legend. Here’s to Mr Cross, you were always one of my favourites.


    I had a Geography teacher called “Mad Harry” who had a mini crossbow that fired chalk. Caught talking and you got shot! lol
    One of my mates got held by a PE teacher while his mate the music teacher leathered him! Heard the Music teacher had a nervous breakdown a few years after we left. Man had serious issues!

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge

    My mate and I got our mouths sellotaped in p3, that’d be 1983. Mum wasn’t happy with the teacher, but gave me a clout anyway.

    It never reached the national press though….

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Mum wasn’t happy with the teacher, but gave me a clout anyway.

    Bit of a paradigm shift that, isn’t it.

    Nowadays, if a teacher were to punish a kid the parents would be up at the school playing holy hell; if it’d have happened to me I’d have got another clout back at home because I’d obviously misbehaved and deserved it.

    Can’t help but think that there needs to be a middle ground here somewhere.


    The usual ruler, slipper, plimsole or flying chalks and board rubbers. But the most inventive one was having to kneel in the corner of the head master office………… on dice.



    a mini crossbow that fired chalk.

    Somehow, I feel deprived and let down by the plain old board rubbers/keys/canes/slipper etc.

    Obviously the southern carrot crunchers have no imagination.

    Edit : I do sometimes wonder if sadism was a prerequisite for a teacher in the 70s/80s.

    Premier Icon Flaperon

    Sounds like there’s a few more candidates for Operation Yewtree…

    Just appreciated how lucky I was to go to a bog-standard Devon comprehensive, where the worst you got was a detention over lunch hour.

    Though I will never forgive Miss Olds for dismissing the class one at a time by reading names from the pile of geography homework that was handed in that lesson. Because I was always, ALWAYS, left sitting alone at the back of the room looking innocent. “Is it not there. miss? I definitely handed it in…”


    Physics Teacher…Mr Pritchard used to hand out Science laws instead of lines…talking in class meant you got to write stuff like “By the principle of moments the sum of the anticlockwise moments equals the sum of the clockwise moments” etc.

    Extremely effective


    the year head awarded it to himself once.

    Instant respect

    Premier Icon molgrips

    the year head awarded it to himself once.

    What did he do?

    Our primary school headteacher was sacked some time after I left for being found in a cupboard with one of the cooks. Made me laugh.


    considering what we/I got up to there was very little actual violence meeted out. wooden /felt Board rubbers were used to good effect.chalk was also used well, Woodwork was always a laugh as Sid Dickinson always had a 3′ length of 1/4 dowel in his hand and used it well i.e. to punish dangerous knobish stuff. he was a good bloke though. PE guy also ace, took y 11 hardman to one side for a ‘brief chat’ Lad was very subdued after the ‘chat’. History guy used to bring his own kids into class sometimes they and others always ended up being ‘knuckled’ as he walked round.(middle finger knuckle extended out of fist and bang.). Best we can do now is to escalate the situation so the kid gets a ‘good letting off’by SLT or head of year 🙁


    good letting off’by SLT or head of year



    This ^^ would have had more impact than ‘please dont set fire to xxx hair again’Specially from Mrs smith! 😮


    English teacher (Mr Davis) would get boys to bend over, chalk a cross on their trousers and then give them a kick up the arse, sending them flying across the room. Another favourite of his was to get you lean against the wall just supported by both your thumbs, (what he called ‘Chinese torture).

    Looking back at it he was a real sadist, it was all done with malice rather than to to keep discipline.


    I was too late for any of the more severe stuff above thank heavens but one of our music teachers used to do the board rubber trick, albeit they were plastic ad much lighter. One guy in our class had it lobbed at him for talking and he nonchalantly caught it one handed and lobbed it into the school tuba where it got well and truly stuck. He was an utter arsehole but on that day, a legend.

    Premier Icon ononeorange

    A PE teacher at our school used to do the most enormous flying kick up the rear end taking a big run up, as above. A really creepy “toucher”, he used to walk into the boys showers every week. I saw in the papers he’s just doing 5 years for abuse – committed in the 1980s. No surprise, other than he got caught.

    Anyhow, most of the above, plus when I was in the cadets there was one poor lad who was just a bit slower than the rest and could never stand to attention at the same time as us (Corporal Jones-style). His punishment every week was to run round the playing fields and every ten seconds he had to leap in the air shouting “I am a w*****r” as loudly as he could. Poor sod, I often wonder what that did to him.

    On exercises in dark woods at night, the sixth year NCOs got hold of a cadet and bundled him into the boot of their Triumph Dolomite, shut the lid and then drove round as fast as they could over as many bumps as they could. He was told a severe punishment awaited if he threw up in there. He didn’t.

    Mr. Davis. Woodwork.
    Had an 18″ length of flexible plastic he called The Black Death. My that smarted.

    Mr. Macro. Woodwork.
    A proponent of banging errant pupils’ heads together. Hard.

    Mr. Awdas. Biology.
    Had a set of keys like a prison warder and would whack naughty pupils over the head with them. Hard.

    I was once made to cut the grass with a pair of scissors for larking about in RE.

    1980-1985 secondary school.

    Premier Icon pedropete

    Back in the late 70’s we had a sports teacher who tried to maintain his youthful good looks with a long comb-over. Always during the course of his exertions this hefty flap of hair would lift & hang down one shoulder only to be stuck back on his sweaty pate. Of course, we kids noticed this & one unfortunate, during a game of basketball, made a light hearted observation which probably included the words “slap” & “head”, which resulted in him receiving a basketball thrown full force into his face, with the resultant claret everywhere etc. We kids were told to keep quiet or face the consequences.


    OMITN, Jock-m, that sounds eerily like my school. RHS by any chance?

    Those punishments were still practiced in the 90’s.

    Nope Stonyhurst College SJ* for me dunno about OMITN

    21st century Britain where they wonder why we have a school discipline problem.

    Do we? Is discipline worse now than in the 70s, on average?[/quote]

    Molgrips, MrsMutt & I are going through hell with a 14yo at the moment, the little s..t and his mates realise that the teachers can’t physically touch them, restrain or even shout at them nowadays. If they do the teacher faces an assault charge.
    We live in a fairly deprived area, the proportion of career dole-ies and petty criminals kids in the classes is pretty high and bearing in mind some of these are 2nd or even 3rd generation of this type of bloodsucking, freeloading scum now, the norm is that they p… about in class, tell the staff to go f… themselves, walk out of school they want to knowing that if any teacher says boo to them their parents will raise holy hell at the school. They don’t care even if they get caught as there are no consequences.
    The good news is that our little s**t has all the leadership abilities of a sheep, if he hangs out with “good” kids he’s literally a model student, if he hangs out with the idiots, he follows suit. Arrangements have already been made to shift him into a far better school in a more affluent catchment area, and pray this works. At the moment he’s basically under effective house arrest and confined to solitary with no privileges bar paper books for amusement (the horror). He’s even watched his mother bounce a 2Lb lumphammer off his iPhone many times and she has threatened to launch his xbox until he wises up and starts toeing the line or the the new school year starts in September, it’s no skin off our noses.

    I’m not saying I was a saint at school by any stretch of the imagination BUT ye gods, we knew there were real consequences to getting caught so either a) didn’t do it in the first place or b)made sure we weren’t caught. AND we certainly didn’t go home and bleat about it to our parents! – I remember praying that my parents wouldn’t be contacted by the school.

    It’s the concept of “consequences” in this day an age, I’m not saying go back to the blind violence of our youth, which you have to admit was effective in 95% of cases (you are always going to get the hard line recidivist) but a middle line of teachers being able to shout at miscreants, restrain them and issue corporal punishments where deserved would do a heck of a lot towards restoring balance.

    *Society of Jesus aka Jesuits basically if you imagine a “Liebstandate SS Adolf Hitler Division” of Catholicism then you are about there with their tolerance, mild mannered nature and balanced views** :mrgreen:

    **of course I exaggerate, its only 99% of them that give the rest a bad name *** 😉

    *** Truth be told, if you towed the line somewhat (the jebbies are all for structured debate, so they were happy for you to disagree)(which is novel in a school), didn’t get caught, my time at school was brilliant, and I’d happily go back.

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