In response to the recent riots in England, Michael Gove, the education secretary, is bringing corporal punishment back to British schools. The use of force and other harsh penalties is now allowed by the British government.
Yes, you read that correctly — according to Gove, the use of physical force will teach those rioters a lesson. I wonder if he has even thought of asking any of the offenders why they were rioting and considered how that might relate to the classroom? Are we still living in Charles Dickens’ London?
British Education Secretary Will “Restore Adult Authority” In Schools By Bringing Back The Cane
According the The Guardian, in a speech delivered at Durand academy, in Stockwell, south London, Gove said the regulations on the use of force inhibited teachers’ judgment. He added that there had been a slow erosion of adult authority, subverted by a culture in which young people felt able to ignore civilized boundaries. “The only way to reverse this dissolution of legitimate authority is step-by-step to move the ratchet back in favour of teachers,” he stated.
(For the record, corporal punishment in British state schools, and also in private schools receiving any element of public funding, was banned by parliament in 1987. In the remaining private schools it was banned in 1999 in England and Wales, 2000 in Scotland, and 2003 in Northern Ireland.)
Wanted: More Male Teachers To Provide Authority Figures
Specifically, Education Secretary Gove is scrapping a requirement for teachers to record instances when they use physical force, as part of a wider move to “restore adult authority” in the wake of the riots in England. Gove went on to say that he wanted greater numbers of men teaching, particularly in primary schools, so as to provide children with male authority figures who could display “both strength and sensitivity”.
From The Guardian:
He said: “So let me be crystal clear, if any parent now hears a school say, ‘sorry, we can’t physically touch the students’, then that school is wrong. Plain wrong. The rules of the game have changed.”
Gove said men considering teaching were deterred by a fear of rules that made contact between adults and children “a legal minefield”.
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