From the archives: RGS and Corporal Punishment

It has been some 20 years now since corporal punishment was abolished at RGS - and rightly so. But for hundreds of years before that, in schools up and down the land, a swift whack had been one of the sanctions for maintaining discipline; and RGS had been no exception.

Judging from the old-boys' detailed accounts that are provided here, incidents of slippering or caning certainly left a lasting impression (no pun intended), but a survey conducted amongst the boys in 1965 suggests that they had no complaints about their treatment. One of RGS' most (in)famous pupils, Ian Dury, whose most well known song was coincidentally Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, said much the same thing.

       
We have gathered together in the following pages some of the surviving evidence. This has been gleaned mainly from old-boys, The Wycombiensian, and the official school history. Bibliography.
Under the Headmastership of Mr Peachell (1879-1905) discipline was maintained by a complicated system of detentions and notes to parents to enforce discipline. The Detention Book records very few canings and these were for cheating.
Mr Arnison, his successor (1905-1933) is described by the History of the School as a "firm but wholly just displinarian". The Record of the Prefects' Meetings' (see below) records the licence they were granted regarding beatings, and the front page of the book states that the punishment system they applied was introduced in 1930.

Mr Arnison was succeeded by Mr Tucker.

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