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Extracts from the regulations of the Department of Education

Year Regulation
1876 49. Head-teachers
They will have the power of administering corporal punishment in their schools, but this power is to be used seldom and with discretion.
1880 49. Head-teachers
They will have the power of administering corporal punishment in their schools; but this power is to be used seldom and with discretion. A head teacher may in special cases delegate this power to an assistant, provided the consent of the Minister be first obtained and a register of punishments be kept.
1885 50. Teachers are authorised to administer corporal punishment in their schools; but this power is to be used seldom and with discretion. A head teacher may, with the approval of the Minister, delegate this power to an assistant.
Every case in which corporal punishment is inflicted must be recorded in a register kept for that purpose.
Children may be detained after school hours as a punishment for disobedience, misconduct, or failure to learn home lessons.
1892 124. Head teachers are authorised to administer corporal punishment in their schools. It is not, however, to be inflicted for trivial breaches of school discipline, but may be employed for offences against morality, for gross impertinence, and for wilful and persistent disobedience, and for these only as a last resort. All degrading and injurious modes of punishment - such as 'boxing children's ears,' unnatural and long-continued attitudes of restraint, such as 'standing', 'kneeling', and the like - are strictly prohibited.
A head teacher may, with the approval of the Minister, delegate this power to an assistant, but he will still be held responsible for the nature and extent of the punishment inflicted.
In every case where corporal punishment is inflicted the full particulars must be recorded at the time in a register kept for that purpose.
Pupil-teachers in all cases, and assistants other than those authorised by the head teacher with the Minister's approval, are strictly forbidden to inflict corporal punishment.
1897 97. Head teachers are authorised to administer corporal punishment in their schools. It is not, however, to be inflicted for trivial breaches of school discipline, but may be employed for offences against morality, for gross impertinence, and for wilful and persistent disobedience, and for these only as a last resource. All degrading and injurious modes of punishment are strictly prohibited.
A head teacher may, with the approval of the Minister, delegate this power to an assistant, but he will still be held responsible for the nature and extent of the punishment inflicted.
In every case where corporal punishment is inflicted the full particulars must be recorded at the time in a register kept for that purpose.
Pupil-teachers in all cases, and assistants other than those authorised by the head teacher with the Minister's approval, are strictly forbidden to inflict corporal punishment.
1902 111. Head teachers may administer corporal punishment in their schools. Corporal punishment shall not be inflicted for trivial breaches of school discipline, but may be employed for offences against morality, for gross impertinence, and for wilful and persistent disobedience, and for these only as a last resource. All degrading and injurious modes of punishment are strictly prohibited. Female pupils who have reached the age of twelve years shall not be subjected to corporal punishment.
1908 107. (a) Head teachers may administer corporal punishment in their schools. Corporal punishment shall not be inflicted for trivial breaches of school discipline, but may be employed for offences against morality, for gross impertinence, and for wilful and persistent disobedience, and for these only as a last resource. All degrading, injurious, and unnecessarily cruel and severe modes of punishment are strictly prohibited. Female pupils who have reached the age of twelve years shall not be subjected to corporal punishment.
(b) A head teacher may, with the approval of the minister, delegate to an assistant the power to administer corporal punishment, but the head teacher shall nevertheless be held responsible for the nature and extent of the punishment inflicted.
(c) In every case where corporal punishment is inflicted the full particulars shall be recorded at the time in the Punishment Register.
(d) Pupil-teachers in all cases, and assistants other than those authorised by the Minister, are strictly forbidden to inflict corporal punishment.
1914 113. (a) Head teachers may administer corporal punishment in their schools. Corporal punishment shall not be inflicted for trivial breaches of school discipline, but may be employed for offences against morality, for gross impertinence, and for wilful and persistent disobedience, and for those only as a last resource. All degrading, injurious, and unnecessarily cruel and severe modes of punishment are strictly prohibited. Female pupils who have reached the age of twelve years shall not be subjected to corporal punishment.
(b) A head teacher may, with the approval of the Minister, delegate to an assistant the power to administer corporal punishment, but the head teacher shall nevertheless be held responsible for the nature and extent of the punishment inflicted.
(c) In making application under (b) hereof, a head teacher shall give the names of those members of his staff to whom this power has already been delegated.
(d) In every case where corporal punishment is inflicted the full particulars shall be recorded at the time in the Punishment Register.
(e) Pupil-teachers in all cases, and assistants other than those authorised by the Minister, are strictly forbidden to inflict corporal punishment.
1934 89. (a) Head teachers may administer corporal punishment in their schools, but to boys only. Corporal punishment shall not be inflicted for trivial breaches of school discipline, for minor offences, or for the failure or inability to learn, but may be employed - and only as a last resource - for offences against morality, gross impertinence, or wilful and persistent disobedience. All forms of irregular, degrading, injurious, and unnecessarily severe punishment are strictly prohibited.
Female pupils and members of Infant Sections or Departments shall not be subjected to corporal punishment
(b) A head teacher may, with the approval of the Minister, delegate to an assistant the power to administer corporal punishment, but the head teacher shall nevertheless be held responsible for the nature and extent of the punishment inflicted.
(c) In making application under (b) hereof, a head teacher shall give the names of those members of his staff to whom this power has already been delegated.
(d) In every case where corporal punishment is inflicted the full particulars shall be recorded at the time in the Punishment Register.
(e) Junior teachers in all cases, and assistants other than those authorised by the Minister are strictly forbidden to inflict corporal punishment.
(f) Only one school cane may be kept. This, and the Punishment Register shall be under the control of the head teacher.
(N.B. - Corporal punishment is not to be regarded as an aid to teaching and it should be rendered unnecessary by the teacher's methods of government and instruction. The estimate of a teacher's disciplinary powers will be affected by his ability to secure effective government without resorting to the use of corporal punishment.)
1971 36. (1) A principal or, if authorised by a principal, a deputy principal, of a State school may administer corporal punishment to boys who are pupils of such school for any of the following reasons: -
  1. offences against morality;
  2. insolence;
  3. wilful and persistent disobedience; and
  4. gross misconduct at school or when travelling to and from school that is in the opinion of the principal likely to prejudice the good order and discipline of the school.
Provided that corporal punishment shall not be administered:
  1. to a pupil enrolled in Grade 1 or 2;
  2. for trivial breaches of school discipline or for failure or inability to learn; or
  3. in a form which is irregular, degrading, injurious and unnecessarily severe.
(2) If corporal punishment is inflicted under the provisions of sub-regulation (1) the full particulars shall be recorded at the time in the Punishment Register.
1989 Education (General Provisions) Act 1989
Part 4 - Good Order and Management Of State Educational Institutions
Division 1 - Behaviour management plans
Section 27 Principal is responsible for behaviour management plans

(1) The principal of each State educational institution must ensure a
process is put in place for developing a behaviour management plan for the
institution.
(2) The plan for an institution must -
  1. promote a supportive environment at the institution so all
    members of the institution's community may work together in
    developing acceptable standards of behaviour to create a caring,
    productive and safe environment for learning; and
  2. promote an effective teaching and learning environment at the
    institution, that allows positive aspirations, relationships and
    values to develop; and
  3. foster mutual respect among all individuals at the institution; and
  4. encourage all students attending the institution to take increasing
    responsibility for their own behaviour and the consequences of
    their actions.
  5. The principal of an institution must take all reasonable steps to
    ensure the institution's behaviour management plan is implemented
    consistently, fairly and reasonably.
  6. Also, the principal must ensure the plan is reviewed from time to
    time.

Current policies that reflect the abolition of corporal punishment can be found at the Policy and Procedure Register website:

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Last reviewed
10 January 2013
Last updated
10 January 2013