Catholic Approved School or Reform School

I hesitate to ask this question but I can’t find anything about this elsewhere. Here’s the story…

Years ago, my Dad told me that my Grandfather was sent to a Catholic Approved School because he was convicted of stealing a car. Apparently he didn’t do it but took the rap for his younger brother because he felt that his brother was too young to be sent away. My father hasn’t told me a lot about it but he said that the Priests and Nuns were very, very strict and weren’t afraid to use the cane if you know what I mean.

I don’t know anything about these Approved Schools or Reform Schools. Does anyone on here know anything about them and what they were like?

My Grandfather died many years ago and my Dad knows very little because my Grandfather didn’t talk about it.

Sounds like the military school that my step-father went to.

<<Priests and Nuns were very, very strict and weren’t afraid to use the cane if you know what I mean.

Paddlings and spankings were not unheard of when I went to public shool in the 50’s and 60’s.

As far as I understand about Catholic schools in the U.K at that time, it looks like that those schools were not considered the best option.

However, they were a good opportunity for “those” Catholics to give a infrastructure to “take care of their own” without the government spending a lot of money. This would also include fraternal organization to take care of drunk laborers, and minimize their impact on the economy.

This was also the reason for the Catholic schools’ tax exemption status that they were able to receive, while some monasteries could not.


I can remember that it was done in public schools in the 70’s.

Thanks for the replies. This wasn’t a normal school where they sent kids, it was more like a prison or a youth detention centre. I know that corporal punishment was in schools until the 1970’s and that caning was very regular occurence. This, however, was more than that, apparently it was brutal. It was more like a Magdalene Laundry for young men.

I am not calling the nuns, because they dealt with many horrible people in these places and needed to keep a tight reign.

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