Liz Ryan has devoted her working life to generations of children who have passed through Glenealy Junior School in Hornsey Road, Mid-Levels. She took up the post in April 1970 after leaving her native London and is now deputy principal to 360 mainly expatriate children aged five to 11. She has a teenage son and daughter. What's on your mind? The attack on the schoolchildren in Scotland has left me ice-cold. The worst thing a parent thinks can happen to their children at school is a bump on the head in the playground or a broken arm in PE. What happened in Scotland was just horrific. Even some of the older children at our school had read about it and mentioned how awful it was. Children have always felt safe at school, but suddenly they are in a position where they wonder if it is safe or if something as terrible as this could actually happen. The thought of the parents going to the school to see if their children were killed is terrible. You cannot be unmoved by what happened there. It must have been dreadful for them. By co-incidence our headmaster Hugh Drummond and his wife have relatives in the same town. Those children who survived will never forget what happened and will require sensitive counselling for a considerable time to come. Have you ever worried about the safety of your own pupils? I remember about 10 years ago there was a man who got into a kindergarten in Hong Kong and mutilated children with a knife. I was discussing it with some other staff in the office this morning. That incident really shocked at the time, because it happened so close to home. During the time I've been at the school we've had children abducted by divorced parents. The only other time we have been affected by security was during the Arab-Israel war, when we had two children from rival consulates at the school. One had to go out of the back under police supervision, while the other went out the front. The children were the best of friends in the classroom. What kind of security measures could be introduced? I have spoken to some of the parents about this and they agree you can't barricade a school. If a madman comes along with guns he's going to get in regardless. I suppose there is closed-circuit television, but that would not stop anybody getting in. Schools can lock their gates, but if somebody is determined to get in, they can just climb over. We have a notice at the entrance directing all visitors, including parents, to the office and our gates are locked at lunchtime to stop children getting out. The chances of such an incident happening here are very remote. But I'm quite sure those pupils and teachers in Scotland had never dreamed anything like that would happen to them.