Dear Parents and Carers 24th February 2020
For some time, we have been investigating the idea of having a school dog. The research is overwhelmingly positive of the benefits that having a school dog can have on the whole community. Studies have shown that the presence of companion animals can improve the well-being of children and lower anxiety levels, simply by making the environment happier and more enjoyable. We have spoken to a number of primary schools where a school dog is already successfully in place. They shared with us their experience of the positive impact that dogs have had across the school. We have also informed our insurers and gained approval from the Governing Body.
In the long term we will be looking at having some ‘PAT’ (Pets as therapy) dogs in our school, however in the shorter term we will be having a couple of friendly dogs on school site for special events. The first event being World Book Day where some children will get the chance to read to them.
Both dogs are low shedding dogs in order to minimise the chance of allergic reactions. Both dogs are fully up to date with their vaccinations and worming. Both have achieved ‘Silver’ Kennel Club Good Citizenship standards.
A full risk assessment has been completed and is available on request.
There will always be a designated member of staff (their handler) present during any interaction with pupils. This will start with a 2-hour block during World Book Day, where a number of children will get the chance to read to both dogs.
This is early days, but we hope that, in time, dogs will become much loved and important members of our school community.
Any parent who does not wish their child to interact with the dog, is invited to write and inform me of your wishes. Alternatively, please feel free to contact me on the telephone. Also, if your child has any known allergies to dogs then please inform me.