A PRIMARY school headteacher has returned home after spending time in a country hit by conflict.

John Lyons, headteacher at Holy Rosary Primary School, Billingham, visited some of the Tamil no-go areas in Sri Lanka to pass on teaching skills to trainees living there.

Sri Lanka has been at the centre of conflict for more than 20 years and it is only in the past two years, since a peace agreement was reached, that development has taken place in the north of the island.

Mr Lyons is involved with the international organisation, Caritas, which works with the developing world.

His exploits mean the pupils at Holy Rosary also benefit. This year, the whole school has been working on the life and culture of Sri Lanka.

Mr Lyons took various civic items from Stockton Borough Council as gifts for the people of Sri Lanka and in return, they gave a flag of their country, which was yesterday presented to the Mayor of Stockton, Councillor Jennie Beaumont.

Mr Lyons said: "It was a wonderful experience and a great honour to be able to pass on teaching skills. The children in our school have gained a lot from my visit as they have been involved in lots of projects.