I was born in 1994, and so corporal punishment in schools was long gone by the time I started at primary. I went to a church of England school in a small town in the East Midlands – I don’t want to give more details because the school still exists. It was very normal.
I remember several times when corporal punishment was mentioned at school, and I got very awkward and anxious hearing about it but also very interested. Once in Year 4 in Drama, we were doing ‘but’ scenes – I guess a limited version of the normal ‘if/but’ improv technique.
One girl called Becky stood up and said: “My brother got his bare bottom smacked but he was really brave and didn’t cry!” Well, I just about died on the spot.
I got a grand total of one spanking as a child, in 2003. I was nine, and through a series of misunderstandings (I was genuinely innocent) I ended up in quite big trouble at school.
I was kept in at lunchtime – one of the most serious punishments available to the school – and the head teacher called my parents and told them about the incident.
To be honest, I wasn’t too worried about that development. I had never been spanked and knew my parents would believe me when I said I was innocent.
Well, they didn’t. In fact, Dad was really pissed off with me, and once I got home he had me over his lap for about 10 whacks on the seat of my school trousers. I remember being panicky but also quite enjoying the spanking, and feeling weirdly conflicted.