The Tawse/the Strap/the BeltThe tawse was an implement used for coporal punishment (educational discipline) in Scottish schools. It consisted of a ***** of leather, with one end split into two tails. Many Scottish saddlers made tawses for local schoolmasters. It was referred to as either the strap or the belt.
Scottish state schools used the tawse to punish pupils of either gender on the palm of the outstretched hand. Pupils were usually instructed to hold out one hand, palm uppermost, supported by the other hand below, which made it difficult to move the hand away during the infliction of the strokes. It also ensured that the full force of each stroke was taken by the hand being strapped. The punishment was usually inflicted by the class teacher in front of the class, to act as a deterrent to others.
In 1976 two parents, Mrs Grace Campbell and Mrs Jane Cosans, raised an action in the European Court of Human Rights ob
The use of the strap in state schools was phased out at varying times in different local authority areas from 1983 onwards and was finally banned in all state schools from the autumn term of 1987.