British Teachers Verbally and Physically Abusing Students

In this book, the narrator refers to her time at a “comprehensive” (which I assume is somewhat equivalent to an American public junior high school) in the late 80’s early 90’s - ish. She recalls an incident in which her gym teacher throttled a girl (of about age 11-12), pinned her up against a wall, called her a bitch and reared back to hit her before thinking better of it, for a minor infraction.

While conceding that, a) the book is fiction and b) it’s one incident, I wonder if this story has a basis in reality. As recently as the late 1980’s/early 1990’s, did teachers at British comprehensives verbally and physically abuse students? Does it go on today?

Nope, it really is just fiction. If that happened for real in any school now or in the eighties, then the teacher would be in TONS of trouble. I can’t say that nothing like that happened in that time period - an individual teacher going mad - but it would have been all over the media and the teacher would face jail time. It’s about as far from the norm as can be.

Sounds like an interesting book, though; any good?

Too recent to be all that common, way too recent to be widely acceptable. Doesn’t mean it couldn’t have happened, but it’s not very likely to have done if there were no repercussions.

It’s hit and miss. Good in parts, boring and bogged down in others. Got it from the library, though, so either way I’ll get my money’s worth.

It happens.

What was Pink Floyd talking about in The Wall ?

Education twenty or thirty years before the book in question.

And it was school sanctioned corporal punishment (canings etc.) Quite different from throttling someone.

but in the town is was well known
when they went home at night
their fat and psychopathic wives
would thrash them
within inches of their lives

Corporal punishment wasn’t officially outlawed in British state schools until 1987 (but much later for private schools), an overview on the subject can be found here:

Not in the the UK, but I was in high school in Canada in the 80s and I have full recollection of an incident where a teacher took two full-stroke, closed-fist swings at a student and failed to connect due only to evasive action on the part of the student. Apparently, the incident wasn’t reported as it was business as normal after that.