18 FEBRUARY 1949, Page 18


Sra,—I do not know if Mr. Hodgkin was serious when he wrote in his article, Public School, New Style, published in the Spectator of November 4th, that in ordinary public schools it is a tradition to flog boys daily to make them feel that they are living in the world of Keate. Whether he was serious or not, there are certainly many readers of the Spectator who will have believed him. As I am a public schoolboy myself, and as I know boys from many other public schools, I am in a position to tell all persons who have queer ideas about public schools that neither in my school, nor in any other public school of my knowledge, do boys get flogged daily, and when they are beaten, which is becoming more and more rare, it is not to make them feel that they live in the " world of Keate " nor because of any other obscure tradition, but because, in some cases, there is no other method of making them observe the rules of the school. After all, flogging is only a punishment, and when a school decides to abolish it, it has to replace it by something else. Whatever the opinion of Mr. Hodgkin and the teachers at Ottershaw, most public schoolboys will prefer a beating to an afternoon's detention or some other punishment involving a waste of time.—Yours faith-