Omagh's healers

21st August 1998 at 01:00
The shocking events in Omagh have, for many of us, dominated not only the past week's news but our emotions and imaginations. As catastrophes do, they have also had the effect of throwing us back on our basic values. A-level results matter, sure; but Omagh puts them into perspective.

Such events also cast a fresh light on to schools and the people in them. When chaos reigns, the local school becomes a symbol of stability and decency. Repeatedly, on the television news, we saw Omagh's headteachers - themselves often racked with anxiety about relatives - speaking of pupils or past pupils killed or maimed. As viewers, we knew we could rely on them for wise words, heartfelt but controlled emotion, and a balanced overview.

At a time when schools are often condemned for not delivering high enough educational standards, we need to remind ourselves of their importance in providing the social glue which binds so many communities together. Even in the most difficult circumstances, they continue to embody enduring values: co-operation, compassion, perseverance and self-control.

Children are the future, we know. The teachers of Omagh (to an extent which will almost certainly go unrecognised) will play a key role in healing their community.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now