Leather slippers and other weapons of mass education

If you know the birds and the bees from you ABCs, you probably enjoyed a rewarding education somewhere in a sepia past.

Either that or you couldn’t stop messing about — so received a proper old skool education involving some punishing items that had you reciting your times tables with tears in your eyes.

Thank heavens they’ve been ousted out of the curriculum.


teachers cane
The cane

The iconic cane is the the sword of the old skool teacher. Thin, tough and able to break the sound barrier with a teacher-pleasing CRACK, the cane was famous for leaving red marks (and we don’t mean on your homework).

Leather slippers

leather slippers
The leather slipper

So popular at school, it was adopted by frustrated parents and is subtler than the cane. Yet, don’t be fooled by the harmless look of leather slippers as they give one hell of a bite when crashing down onto your backside.

Chalk duster

chalk and board eraser
The chalk duster

The missile of choice for angry school teachers. The chalk duster would take down moving targets trying to escape from class early or bring an end to talking at the back. Yes, nothing quite like a block of wood hitting you on the forehead — real conversation ender that one.


school rulers
The ruler

Sir’s flexible friend has broken many a heart and many a fingernail. It was only three decades ago that naughty pupils would be asked to display their knuckles in preparation for a few raps and we’re not talking hip hop. Yes ruler by name, ruler by nature — ouch!


writing lines
Writing lines

Similar to water torture, writing the same thing over and over again during detention would not only make your wrist ache, but have you muttering “I am an idiot for bringing a whoopie cushion to school” in your sleep.


dunce cap
The dunce

Once upon a time not even the headmaster could spell ‘political correctness’. So if you played the clown in class, humiliation and exclusion would be your punishment. As you were forced to stand in the corner of the classroom and look at the wall with a ridiculous hat on your head. Now that’s an education!

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