There has been recent media attention praising the impact of bringing dogs into schools, but this must be done in the right way to avoid putting both the dogs and the children at risk. Headteacher Nik Gardner urges schools considering this approach to take on board the proper guidance

There have been recent articles in the media about dogs working in schools as put forward by the education secretary Damian Hinds and Sir Anthony Seldon (BBC, March 2019). This has raised the profile of dogs attending schools and has rightly highlighted that there are many benefits to having a dog as part of the school team.

I am headteacher at Winford CE Primary School in north Somerset, a single form entry primary school located in a semi-rural area just outside Bristol – and we have a school dog.

I started looking for a puppy to bring to school back in 2013 as I was aware of the impact that a dog can bring. After much research, I selected and worked very closely with the charity Dogs Helping Kids, a unique charity that specialises in training dogs for the educational arena.

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