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Q: Child corporal punishment law in Northern Ireland (UK) ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Child corporal punishment law in Northern Ireland (UK)
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: bolty-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 25 Feb 2005 03:51 PST
Expires: 27 Mar 2005 03:51 PST
Question ID: 480606
I want to know the law regarding child corporal punishment in Northern
Ireland (UK)? I would like to know the sources used.
Subject: Re: Child corporal punishment law in Northern Ireland (UK)
Answered By: skermit-ga on 25 Feb 2005 05:19 PST
Northern Ireland has always been a little behind the rest of the UK
concerning abolishing corporal punishment. After Britain abolished
corporal punishment concerning prisoners, it took 20 years for it to
be abolished in NI in 1968. Children's educational corporal punishment
has been abolished slowly, first in 1987 to public schools, and then
in 1998 and then again in 2003 to include private and religious
schools. As for corporal punishment in the home, Northern Ireland
still allows "reasonable chastisement" as a form of corporal
punishment (smacking, hitting, etc.). England and Wales just passed a
new law (2004 Childrens Act) which took effect in early January which
limits this form of punishment to mild smacking, but any hitting or
smacking which results in lasting bruises, cuts, scratches, or
swellings can now face up to 5 years in jail for child abuse. It's
currently in debate on whether or not a similar act will pass in
Northern Ireland. Please follow the links below for more information,
as well as sources.

"reasonable punishment" in the 2004 Childrens Act:

News article on new law:

Children in Northern Ireland's winter newsletter 2004 (refers to
discussions about current reform):

1968 judicial corporal punishment abolishment:

1987 public school corporal punishment abolishment:

1998 private school corporal punishment abolishment:

2003 private school corporal punishment abolishment (revisement to
include more situations):

dates of various countries' abolishment of corporal punishment:

Thank you for your interesting question, and it was my pleasure to
answer it for you.

Subject: Re: Child corporal punishment law in Northern Ireland (UK)
From: dprk007-ga on 25 Feb 2005 06:00 PST
As someone who attended a Catholic school in Northern Ireland during
the late sixties and early seventies, your question brings back some
not so very pleasant memories of my time at school. Corporal
punishment was allowed and
practised frequently by the majority of teachers. A number of
implements were used including straps,canes, slippers, rulers and (in
one interesting case)
an electrical cable. Punishment was applied to both the hands and buttocks
for a variety of "offences" such as taking back to the teacher,
talking out of turn, not doing or completing homework, doing homework
incorrectly, sitting in the wrong seat, forgetting to bring homework
to school or forgetting to bring the correct textbooks and sports
gear. In some cases Global Punishments were
handed out as an entire class would be caned for misbehaving.  
As my time at school coincided with the on set of the "troubles" in
Northern Ireland , I was somewhat disappointed that some teachers who
were keen advocates of the then Civil Right movement appeared to be
equal advocates of Corporal Punishment.
An interesting aspect of the "troubles" were a number of bomb scares which 
would happen at schools almost always during the Morning break or
during the Lunch hours. It emmerged that these bomb scares were
perpertrated by some students who wished to disrupt the class which
would follow the mid morning
or lunch hour break so as to avoid been caned.   


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