"He sometimes had to give them a hiding"
A Child Wearing a Dunce Cap in the Classroom
Public DomainA Child Wearing a Dunce Cap in the Classroom - Credit: New York : Underwood & Underwood, publishers
In Victorian England, the expression "Spare the rod and spoil the child" was taken quite literally. Drawing attention to oneself was not recommended unless one had a cast iron constitution. For naughty children, there was no refuge; they were disciplined both at home and school. 

In the 19th century, children could be switched by a birch branch, twitched by a cane, pummeled by the paddle or terrorized with a tawse (leather strap). But corporal punishment was viewed as only one half of the solution. The second half of the game was shame. The Victorian era was notorious for embarrassing their children into acceptable behavior or better performance. If a child chose not to do well in school, or was simply behind the learning curve, he was forced to wear a cap bearing the word, "Dunce."

 

A Cane was Often Used for Corporal Punishment in a Victorian School
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA Cane was Often Used for Corporal Punishment in a Victorian School - Credit: llamnudds