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Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

– John 8:31-32

Events conspire against us, things go wrong, we make mistakes. Sometimes when things go wrong, they cannot be fixed. Thankfully, there are plenty of times when we can repair or restore what has been broken or damaged.

There are reasons why things go wrong at school. Schools are full of people, and people make mistakes. Secondly, schools are full of relationships and human interactions. We all know that individual relationships can be tricky to navigate, let alone the complex web of friendship groups, classes, or whole year groups. Thirdly, schools are full of students who are in the process of learning and developing, not just academically, but as whole people.

I hesitate to list all the sorts of things that can and do go wrong at school, largely because things go well far more often than they go badly. When things do go badly, our aim is for those involved to understand and address the consequences of their actions. At the same time, we work hard to protect others from the impact of wrongdoing.

There are times when we will speak publicly about the nature of what has gone wrong. There are other times when, for the protection of those wronged, we tend to address the issue with only those involved.

My advice to us all when we find things have gone awry is as follows: “Whatever you did, tell the truth. We can work with the truth; we can’t do anything with a lie. Light makes repentance possible. Darkness makes bondage inevitable”. Marty Duren

With respect to our wonderful students, who nonetheless find getting it right difficult from time to time, may they be encouraged to take heed of the words of Hannah Arendt, “There’s an English idiom, ‘Stop and think’. Nobody can think unless they stop”.

Tim Watson