Our School Dog - Matilda
The School Leadership Team at St Paul’s CofE VC Junior School considered the options regarding the possibility of obtaining a dog as a school pet. Over a period of several months following this discussion research into a possible source of a suitable puppy has led to the final decision being taken before Governors in July 2019.
The rationale behind this decision was as follows:
- For the school to have a pet that was able to live as naturally as conditions would allow.
- For the animal to be properly cared for outside of the school day.
- To have a pet that the children could interact with and also be of benefit to the children’s social and emotional development.
Prior to purchasing the puppy, the Headteacher has visited a number of breeders for different breeds of dogs and taken advice from a variety of sources before making the final decision. The top priority for any dog has been to ensure that the temperament of the parents was suitable for interaction with children. The breeder that has been selected is a registered and accredited breeder with the Kennel Club and has vast experience of breeding and training therapy dogs that enhance the lives of Autistic children.
Is there a risk in bringing a dog into a school environment?
Of course there is, though there are a variety of accidents which can happen within the school environment which far exceed the number of injuries or incidents caused by a dog. Therefore, it is just another risk that needs to be managed. We believe that through a rigorous risk assessment process the risk can be managed by school staff.